Jamaica Daily Gleaner
Letter to the Editor, June 26, 2009:
Jamaicans have this propensity to do things which would be unheard of in other Caribbean countries, and then complain when these countries take steps to protect the interest of their citizens.
Just recently, there was heated debate between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago about the refusal of the twin-island republic to allow the importation of Jamaican patties. A month later I am reading of a supermarket importing patties from, of all places, the United States of America (USA). Jamaica's market is wide open and you can import just about anything, as we seem not to have set standards for anything.
Second, even where standards exist you really have no need to worry about them anyway; you can still bring the stuff in and get them on the supermarket shelves. Who cares?
Therein lies our problem, we seem as people to have very little regard for the rest of the country as long as we see an individual profit, even if it means dragging this country to its knees. Then we complain how some Caribbean countries put in place so-called protectionist polices, which are really meant to help their people.
Instead of trying to expand our markets for export, to earn additional foreign exchange, we are buying US currency to import just about anything that can be imported.
The chief executive officer from Trinidad Cement Company was spot on in his recent stinging comments on Jamaica, and here is clear evidence to support his charge.
While it may be difficult to stop our business people from doing dumb things from a policy perspective, it just takes some educated consumer to put an end to this folly.
The perspective on protectionism vs profits in any way possible have not changed in a 100 years. No wonder imports are banned from Tropico