07:28 Mon Sep 24, 2012
Report by: Devendra Narayan
Fiji will not compromise its core labor principles, despite being in danger of losing millions of dollars in benefits under the Generalized System of Preference.. GSP trade with the United States.
The State is confident of defending itself against a petition by a union, which has asked the US to punish Fiji for its labor reforms.
Thirty nine companies and 15,000 workers livelihood depends on this single hearing in the US.
The Fiji Trades Union Congress had filed a petition in December last year… asking the US to impose sanctions on Fiji because of various reasons, which include the introduction of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) and the Media Decree.
Industry and Trade Ministry Permanent Secretary Shaheen Ali says the Fiji Delegation to the US is expected to highlight the positives implemented by the Bainimarama government.
“Improvement in roads airports, so all this things are important, sometimes people don’t have appreciation from outside, we will let them know and of course they are watching and observing and commending the political process that is going on which is the voter registration process and constitutional process.”
Fiji’s total exports bill to the US stands at around one hundred million dollars and if the decision by the US goes the other way round, Ali says livelihoods of 75,000 people will be at stake.
Fiji has enjoyed duty free access to US markets under the GSP system since 1976.