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Saturday 22 September 2018
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TTMA: Grant Dominica waiver

Homes are scattered after the passage of Hurricane Maria in Roseau, the capital of Dominica, on September 23, 2017. File photo

Support for Dominica and criticism of TT is growing, as the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) is the latest entity to comment on this country’s recent refusal to support Dominica’s request for a two-year waiver of its annual Organisation of American States (OAS) contribution.

The TTMA on Thursday said it “does not support” the statement made by TT’s OAS Ambassador Anthony Phillips-Spencer during the March 23 meeting at OAS headquarters in Washington DC that while TT is in solidarity with member states impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria last year, “consistent with the position adopted in other multilateral fora in the hemisphere, this delegation (TT) again wishes to offer for consideration, the option of the deferral of payments of contributions, and where possible the implementation of a payment plan subject to annual review.”

Pointing out that this was “contrary to the position of all other nations’ representatives,” the TTMA said in addition to its membership having worked with other chambers to send containers of relief supplies to the devastated island between October and November 2017, “this relief effort continues up to today by our members and other NGOs of TT.”

“Our actions to support Dominica – and other countries during the hurricane relief effort – does not dovetail with the direction of seeking a deferral as opposed to waiver as per the request by Dominica. Further, the TTMA’s members are at this time engaging in discussions with respect to rebuilding efforts in some of these islands, including Dominica.”

Adding that this outpouring of support helped to forge a very strong relationship among our islands, one on which it hopes to build through a sustained rebuild effort, the TTMA said it is “therefore asking those in authority to consider our Caricom neighbours during their time of need.”

The TTMA also called on the authorities to be mindful that statements such as the one made by Phillips-Spencer “can negatively impact and derail goodwill between TT and our neighbouring states.”

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