Private sector entities are being urged to become more vigilant in monitoring, identifying, documenting and reporting suspected use of non-tariff measures (NTMs), which can affect trade. This call comes from Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson, who noted that in the past, complaints regarding this issue have mainly been anecdotal. “We therefore urge you to acknowledge when issues have been resolved,” the Minster said, as he addressed the opening of a stakeholders’ consultation on NTMs affecting Jamaica at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, on March 6. NTMs are policy measures on export and import, other than ordinary customs tariffs, that can potentially have an effect on the international trade of goods. Senator Nicholson noted that the Government is fully aware of the significant number of domestic companies that have reported burdensome and often times problematic formalities, procedures and measures in accessing regional markets. “Cognizant of the persistent increase in non-tariff measures, as tariff rates have declined, the Government of Jamaica is pursuing an active strategy of collaborating with private sector stakeholders to identify and document evidence of impediments to Jamaica’s trade in order to address this issue in bilateral, regional and international negotiations,” he said. In addition, the Minister said the Government is also working to improve its policy framework, quality infrastructure and level of certification of companies and procedures. He pointed out that monitoring and documenting these barriers are becoming increasingly important given the massive increase in the use of NTMs, within the multi-lateral trading system, which are often times subsequent to the elimination of tariffs. “In particular, developing countries like Jamaica are forced to comply with a wide range of technical regulations, product standards and administrative procedures that frustrate our efforts at market access,” he said. “Additionally, Jamaican manufacturers themselves, both importers and exporters, have also continually expressed concerns about the high cost of doing business in Jamaica, which arises from excessively onerous bureaucratic processes and arbitrariness in the approach to trade facilitation locally,” he said. The Minister said this is why the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Industry, Investment and Commerce, and Agriculture and Fisheries, “have continued to pay close attention to developments within the multilateral trading system that may constitute unfair and undue barriers to trade.” Stakeholders met to discuss the preliminary findings of a survey on NTMs affecting Jamaica undertaken by the International Trade Centre (ICT), in partnership with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, between August 2011 and February 2012. The survey identified the main obstacles the Jamaican business sector currently faces when complying with NTMs at product, sector and partner country levels. The Minister noted that the findings of the survey “are extremely important, providing empirical evidence on barriers to trade whether real, imagined or perceived.” According to the ITC’s Executive Director, Patricia Francis, NTMs cover a wide range of issues, from technical regulations and certification requirements to procedural hassles in obtaining export permits or clearing customs. She noted that while NTMS have a legitimate aim, for example, when they are applied to protect human, animal and plant lives, or to ensure the security of the national borders, these measures “can also act as protectionist tools in which case they do not only act as barriers to trade, but can have a negative impact on the competitiveness of a country’s economy.” “Over the last decade, NTMS have become a major impediment to international trade and market access. It is an area of particular concern to exporters and importers, especially in developing countries,” she said.
Facebook Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST INTERVIEW Advertisement Advertisement From Poltergeist: The Legacy to The Killing and Motive, Canadian actress Kristin Lehman has been a staple on North American television. Now, she’s starring in the much anticipated Netflix series Altered Carbon.The sci-fi murder mystery takes place in a 25th century world where people have implants in the back of their necks that enable them to change into different people, upgrade bodies and essentially become immortal — if they can afford it. Altered Carbon is drawing comparisons to other sci-fi spectacles such as Blade Runner, The Matrix and Black Mirror. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
APTN National NewsDrivers will be putting the pedal to the metal this weekend in Montreal.They’re taking part in a NASCAR racing series.And two Mohawk racers are coming home to grab the checkered flag.APTN National News reporter Tom Fennerio has their story.
OTTAWA – Newly released documents to Canada’s finance minister suggest traditional hotels in two of Canada’s biggest cities have not fared badly as they face rising competition from online platforms like Airbnb.The April 18 memo to Finance Minister Bill Morneau says that average hotel occupancy rates in Vancouver and Toronto were higher than Airbnb listings between 2015 and 2017.Officials estimated that Airbnb’s share of total demand for rooms in the two cities roughly doubled since 2015. And while hotel occupancy rates didn’t decline over the same period, “it is possible they could have risen more than they actually did” if Airbnb and other platforms weren’t around.But “despite the rising occupancy rates,” Morneau was told in the briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press under the access to information law that the hotel industry still sees an unlevel playing field with Airbnb “as there is no tax” on the service.Pressure from domestic businesses had been building on the Trudeau government to apply sales taxes to online services providers like Airbnb and Netflix when Morneau was provided a breakdown on the situation between hotels and short-term rentals.Any recommendations to Morneau have been withheld from release because officials say it is sensitive ministerial advice.In April, a Liberal-dominated Commons committee urged Ottawa to make online service providers based outside the country collect and remit sales taxes as part of a series of recommendations to help Canada’s small businesses compete online.The platforms themselves have told federal officials they are open to applying sales taxes, but the Liberals have shied away from implementing the idea so far.On Tuesday, Airbnb announced it would provide the City of Ottawa with revenues from a four per cent hotel tax on its listings in the national capital starting Aug. 1, marking the second such tax agreement the online platform has finalized in Canada.Airbnb already collects and pays a 3.5 per cent lodging tax in Quebec that the company says totalled $2.8 million in fees to the province over the first six months of its tax agreement.The online company says the City of Ottawa could have received about $850,000 in tax revenue last year if a deal had been in place to collect the levy from 2,700 hosts.The briefing note to Morneau says that annual revenue from Airbnb was greater than that earned from long-term rental units, even though the short-term rentals were occupied on average for only half the year. Morneau was told listings in the west end and downtown Vancouver earned almost double the rental rates for a two-bedroom apartment.— With files from Andy Blatchford
The City of Fort St. John also today announced that the Grand Opening of the new Spray Park, which was planned to take place on Friday, has been postponed. The City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that the ceremony was postponed due to inclement weather that was forecast on Friday. Harvey added that a new date for the ceremony has not yet been announced, but that an announcement should be expected early next week. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John received another cheque from the Rotary Club of Fort St. John for the renovations to the Rotary Spray Park.Mayor Lori Ackerman was on hand at the Rotary Club’s meeting on Thursday to receive a $20,000 cheque on behalf of the City. Both clubs raised the money over the last year through a number of fundraisers, including the Mega Lottery, Drive-thru Breakfast, and from selling the bricks that ring the newly-renovated spray park next to the North Peace Arena.Scott Wisdahl with the Rotary Club said that with today’s $20,000 donation, the Club reached a milestone with a cumulative total of $100,000 in donations for the spray park’s upgrades.
Bruce Shelley with HEA: “We want to let our members know that the best thing that they can do when they receive a phone call like this, that is suspicious, is hang up and call directly back to Homer Electric. That is your best course of action to make sure it is a valid call from the utility.” According to a release from HEA, there has been a recent report of an individual, posing as an HEA representative, confronting local businesses in person and threatening to disconnect their power if payment is not made immediately. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Homer Electric Association, Inc. is getting reports again from area businesses regarding suspicious HEA impersonators over the phone – as well as in person. The goal of the scammers is to obtain credit card numbers or other financial information and payment.If a suspicious phone call is received, end the phone call and contact HEA for verification and to checkthe status of your account. In addition, business members have received phone calls from fraudulent callers impersonating a utilityrepresentative and requesting payment for the customer’s supposed past due bill. The fraudulent callerthreatens immediate disconnection of electric service if the bill is not paid. If you have questions or need additional information, call 1-800-478-8551.
This story first appears on FOLIO: sister site, minonline. Paul Jowdy, who last Thursday (Oct. 27) ended a five-month stint as Every Day with Rachael Ray publisher with the magazine’s sale by Reader’s Digest Association to Meredith Corp., was hired in the same capacity today (Nov. 2) at Women’s Wear Daily.Read the rest of the story here.
Ten Rohingya Muslim men with their hands bound kneel in Inn Din village. Picture taken 1 September 2017. Photo: ReutersLawmakers from South East Asia on Thursday urged the UN to act on a devastating report on atrocities against Rohingya in Myanmar and do everything it can to pave the way for justice for victims, reports UNB.The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is expected to vote on a resolution in next week establishing an independent mechanism to document these crimes for future prosecutions, said ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR).The UN-mandated Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on Myanmar released its full report on 19 September, calling for the Myanmar military top brass to be investigated and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.“The report by the Fact-Finding Mission is as heart wrenching as it is necessary. It adds to the mounting body of evidence that the Myanmar security forces had committed the gravest of crimes – including possible genocide – against Rohingya people,” APHR chair Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian Parliament.“The world must now take concrete action to ensure these atrocities are never repeated. The UN Human Rights Council can do just that by establishing an international accountability mechanism. We urge all countries – including Southeast Asian states – to lend support to a resolution to this effect.”The FFM’s report documents in detail a catalogue of rights violations by the Myanmar security forces during its “clearance operation” in Rakhine State from 25 August 2017, including killings, burnings of villages and sexual violence on a “shocking scale”.It also concludes that the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar military, should be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes in Shan and Kachin States.The FFM recommended that either the HRC or the UN General Assembly should create an international, independent, impartial mechanism, tasked with gathering evidence with a view to support future criminal prosecutions.ASEAN parliamentarians have already urged members of the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court – the only way to guarantee a comprehensive investigation by the court covering all crimes by the Tatmadaw across the whole of the country.“With atrocity crimes unfolding in their backyard, ASEAN states simply no longer have the option to remain silent. Countries in the region must condemn Myanmar’s atrocities in a united voice, and push Members of the Security Council to refer the situation there to the ICC,” said Charles Santiago.
Dwayne Haskins Jr (Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)Dwayne Haskins Jr. is a problem solver. Whether he’s on a football field as the fourth-ranked pocket-passing quarterback in the nation, or in a classroom at The Bullis School in Potomac, Md., Haskins always seems to find a solution.He has a 3.5 GPA, and it’s no surprise that the high school senior’s favorite subject is math.“I like going through problems and finding the answer,” Haskins said. “When you finally find the answer, it’s satisfying because you worked so hard to get the answer.”Haskins is no stranger to working hard. He didn’t start playing football until he was eight, and even then, he stuck with defensive positions, such as fullback and blocking tight end. It wasn’t until Haskins turned eleven that he decided he wanted to be a quarterback. He progressed from being a third-string quarterback on his Pop Warner team to being a highly-recruited starter in high school.“That was a pretty cool experience for me, going from being someone who had to follow the crowd to being the leader of the crowd,” said Haskins, who committed to Ohio State in January.Haskins was recently selected as a finalist for the prestigious Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy Award.The Watkins Award recognizes exceptionally talented African-American male athletes who, through their example, help promote high academic standards and a commitment to community service. The finalists were selected based on their extracurricular activities, grade-point average, personal statement and letters of recommendation.Haskins is more than a pro-style quarterback and math wiz; he’s also the sports editor of his school newspaper, The Bullis Bulldog.The 18-year-old said his parents, Dwayne Sr. and Tamara, and little sister, Tamia, have been very supportive over the years. He added that his faith-based family has always pushed him to overcome obstacles.“There were times I didn’t feel like I was good enough to play football or good enough to be recruited, so my dad stuck with me,” he said. “There were times when school started getting harder—and school always used to be easy for me—so I was like, ‘How do I continue to do well in school?’ My mom taught me that.”The other Watkins Award finalists are Brandon Burton (Los Angeles), Messiah deWeaver (Dayton, Ohio), and Brandon Hill (Orangeburg, S.C.). Past winners include Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle. This year’s winner will be announced on March 12 at a black-tie dinner in Washington, D.C.Ahead of the announcement, Haskins says he has already found the solution for his nerves.“My parents always told me to never have expectations for something you can’t control; just have fun and God will reward you,” he said. “You just have to work hard, and that’s what I did.”