23/06/2018 – Jamaica Gleaner. / Industry and Commerce Minister Audley Shaw is troubled by Jamaica’s trade deficit with the United States and has urged the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) to provide more support.
“The end of March this year, in fact, showed that we imported about US$1.8 billion of goods from the United States and we exported just more than US$500 million. We have a deficit of just about $1.3 billion. That is pretty significant,” Shaw said during his address at AMCHAM’s breakfast held in New Kingston yesterday. The event had a focus on issues related to the US regional trade agenda.
The industry and commerce minister noted that the Government would be exploring new opportunities to penetrate the processed-food market including, but not restricted to, the Jamaican Diaspora in the US.
He pointed out: “I’ve seen so many new entrepreneurs, some of them graduates (with) multiple degrees … who have decided to go the entrepreneurial route and are taking Jamaican products grown here and creating exciting things, exotic things.”
Shaw also announced the reopening of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) office in New York, USA, in a push to reverse Jamaica’s trade deficit with the island’s largest trading partner.
“In September, I’m journeying to New York to re-establish the offices of JAMPRO. Yes, I’m going to set it back up, not necessarily at the same place … . We need to reopen that office so that we can really ramp up our re-engagement with the United States and North America as a whole,” said Shaw.