BIG BUSINESS: Barbados working to fix "unfair rum trade"
BARBADOS' GOVERNMENT has said it is working with other partners within the Caribbean Community [CARICOM] grouping to ensure that the island does not face unfair competition in the export of its rum products.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said that Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have been able to purchase products for "much cheaper" than Caribbean rum producers, before noting that the prices gives them an "unfair advantage".
"The rum industry is too important to Barbados, and yes it is a CARICOM issue, but I don't think any CARICOM country has any reason to be as concerned about this as Barbados," he said.
"Rum is assuming an importance for Barbados that we cannot afford to ignore. So, this is a front burner issue and we are following it very closely."
Stuart also confirmed that he recently held lengthy discussions with the US Assistant Secretary of State on the matter.
He has also consulted Barbados' Ambassador to Washington, John Beale, and Barbados' Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert 'Bobby' Morris.