FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert says TT does not agree with a blacklisting of this country by the European Commission.
He was responding to an urgent question in Senate Tuesday on how the recent blacklisting of TT by the European Commission will impact day-to-day banking transactions with European banks. On Wednesday the European Union identified TT, US and 21 other states that pose money laundering and terror financing risks.
Imbert said the US Treasury has scolded the European Union for including US territories on a list of tax havens or areas where there is money laundering and has told US banks to ignore the EU directives in a "very unusual technocratic spat."
He pointed out Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi issued a statement on February 15 on the issue in which he said he wholeheartedly agreed with the compelling reasons laid out by the US for the rejection of the European Commission publication.
These issues were that the Commission's process did not include a sufficiently in-depth review necessary to conduct an assessment related to such a serious and consequential issue; the Commission provided affected jurisdictions with only a cursory basis for its determination; the Commission notified affected jurisdictions that they would be included on the list only days before issuance; and the Commission failed to provide affected jurisdictions with any meaningful opportunity to challenge their inclusion or otherwise address issues identified by the Commission.
Imbert said: "The EU has arbitrarily and unilaterally included us and the US on this so-called blacklist. We do not agree."