Antigua, Caribbean Paint Manufacturers seek massive tax increase on paints coming from USA. Who benefits? Who loses?


St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda – September 20, 2023

In a formal letter addressed to the Honourable E. P. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Trade, and Barbuda Affairs, CARICOM Paint Manufacturers have urgently requested a meeting to present the findings of their comprehensive consultancy report titled “Trade in Paints and Paint Related Products: An Investigation into Unfair Pricing Practices and Possible Remedies.”

The study, commissioned by CARICOM Paint Manufacturers and coordinated by the CARICOM Private Sector Organization (CPSO) at the invitation of the CARICOM/Regional Paint Manufacturers, aims to address the substantial under-pricing of paints from the United States (US) that has significantly impacted the regional paint market.

Individual paint producers within the CARICOM region have repeatedly raised concerns about unfair pricing practices over the past several years.

While some governments have attempted to address the issue, the impact has been limited, necessitating a coordinated response through the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).

The letter emphasizes the importance of a ‘whole of community’ response via a Common External Tariff (CET) alteration rather than individual country actions.

The under-pricing threatens the success of the paint industry in the OECS and LDC, eroding price competitiveness and market share within both LDC and MDC markets.

The CARICOM Paint Manufacturers, unified under the CPSO and the Caribbean Manufacturers Association (CMA), seek government support to establish fair and equitable conditions of trade for paints in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The letter proposes a meeting prior to September 29th, ahead of the upcoming session of the COTED mandated ‘Open-Ended Working Group’ (OEWG) on October 2nd.

Marguerite Desir, speaking on behalf of CARICOM Paint Manufacturers, anticipates a positive response to their meeting request as they seek redress against the under-pricing that poses a significant threat to innovation, industry expansion, and the overall business continuity of regional paint producers.

This collaborative effort by the regional paint industry aims to bring attention to the urgency of addressing unfair trade practices and fostering a competitive and sustainable environment for paint manufacturers within the CSME.


I trust this letter finds you well. I am writing to express our deep concern and opposition to the proposed tax increase on paint imports from the United States, as outlined in recent communications.

While we understand the complexities faced by the CARICOM Paint Manufacturers due to under-pricing issues, we believe that imposing additional taxes on paint imports is not the most effective or fair solution. We are concerned about the potential negative consequences this may have on various stakeholders, including consumers, businesses, and the overall economy.

Raising taxes on imported paints could lead to several adverse effects, including increased prices for consumers. In an already challenging economic climate, such measures may disproportionately impact individuals and businesses relying on affordable paint products. This could, in turn, hinder economic activities and potentially lead to job losses within the paint retail and application sectors.

Moreover, the proposed tax increase may strain international trade relations, particularly with the United States. Such actions could have broader repercussions on diplomatic and economic ties, potentially affecting other industries and trade partnerships that are crucial for our nation’s economic stability.

We urge you to reconsider this proposed tax adjustment and explore alternative solutions that address the concerns of the regional paint industry without unduly burdening consumers and businesses. Collaborative efforts, such as negotiations and discussions with the US government, could be explored to find a resolution that ensures fair competition while safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders.

We advocate for an open and transparent dialogue that includes the voices of businesses, consumers, and other relevant parties in shaping policies that affect our community. We believe that by working together, we can find a balanced and mutually beneficial solution to the challenges faced by the CARICOM Paint Manufacturers.

Thank you for considering our perspective. We look forward to a constructive dialogue on this matter and remain open to exploring alternatives that support the interests of all parties involved.

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  1. So basically the Caribbean paint producers want to kick out any competition form the market and have the whole market for themselves. Does this not take away the right of choice and competition. To get the best product at the best price. Isn’t there already 75 percent tax on paint and yet the likes of the local produced paint in antigua over by airport side pushes for greater tax I thier competition. Wow. Grrrreeeeddy

  2. After reading this article I get the feeling that they are trying to create a monopoly, squeezing out all other competition. Doesn’t sound right.


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