Representatives of the Dominican Rice Union declared, during the press conference held todaywho are not against DR-Cafta Free Trade Agreement, but that they ask that this agreement does not break the country’s rice production.
“The country signed an agreement and we do not intend to change the agreement. What we are asking for is a bilateral agreement… what we want is for a definitive solution to be found that protects rice,” said Heraldo Suero, spokesman and director of the Unión Arrocera.
Taking into account that this treaty between Central America and the United States, will allow the US power to import rice into the countryfree of duties (taxes)so they will be able to market it at a lower price, a situation that will affect local production.
Given this, Suero also indicated that the release of tariffs on the importation of US rice would mean that the first months of the rice that arrives in the country will be at a lower price than that of local production, but as the months progress the price would increase more than what was established. Therefore, in the end, the national production of rice would be destroyed, although later it would obtain a more expensive product.
Marcelo Reyes, president of the union, also stated that: “Many are going to be sold the idea that rice is going to be sold cheaper, that will not be the case, since they destroy the national rice apparatus the prices are going to double triple. It can happen to us like the neighboring country Haiti, which since they destroyed the rice apparatus came crisis and hunger.
Likewise, Manuel Flores, treasurer of the National Federation of Rice Producers (Fenarroz), said that if they allowed the country’s rice sector to be destroyed it would be a “catastrophe.”
Agreement with the United States
Reyes stated that he They have tried to seek bilateral agreements with the United States, but they have not wanted to give infor which they make a general call for the government to take action on the matter, since “if the rice dies, the Dominican field dies.”
Given this, Flores indicated: “The objective of the United States is to destroy our food security and make us dependent on them.”