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The Colombian The government is considering a 40% tax on clothing imports to boost domestic industry, a move that has sparked controversy in the country as some experts say it could be counterproductive.
A draft presidential decree released for consultation on Wednesday notes that an Oct. 26 meeting of the Customs, Tariff and Foreign Trade Affairs Committee recommended “taking tariff action” on the import of garments.
This measure aims to “promote balance in international trade, greater generation of added value, competitiveness, employment – especially for women – and productivity in the national clothing industry”.
Thus, the decree orders to modify another of December 2021, “to establish an ad valorem tariff of 40% on imports from any origin of the most favored nation (MFN) for products classified in chapters 61 and 62 of the national customs tariff”, which corresponds to textiles and their manufactured products.
“This tariff on clothing imports will allow the Colombian clothing industry to soar,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro said in a post on Twitter.
However, trade experts have questioned the measure’s effectiveness.
“An industry which, with the dollar at 5,000 pesos, demands a tariff of 40% is in serious difficulty and not precisely because of imports”, explained the president of the National Foreign Trade Association (Analdex), Javier Díaz Molina , on the same site. social media platform.
For economist Jorge Restrepo, associate professor at Universidad Javeriana, the decree published for consultation is “untimely and untimely” because it “seriously affects the consumer and will increase inflation”, adding that other countries will surely fight back. against Colombia.
The executive president of the Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham), María Claudia Lacouture, considered that the “tariffs that drive up the prices of clothing” add “more shadows to the economic scenario” of the country.
Lacouture, former minister of trade, industry and tourism, said on Twitter that this measure is in addition to the tax reform “which impacts employment and drives up food prices” in a country where the “unbridled dollar affects the whole economy“, to which “inflation and high (interest) rates” are added.
However, the Colombian Chamber of Apparel and Related Industries thanked Petro “for having bet on national industry and employment” and added: “when we import a garment, what we ultimately import are minutes of work that are lost in our country”.