EU official: Haitian ban on Dominican goods will be costly

AP News
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Posted: Sep 22, 2015 6:48 PM

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A European Union official warned Tuesday that an impending Haitian ban on some Dominican Republic products will drive up prices in the impoverished country.

Alberto Navarro, head of the EU delegation in the Dominican Republic, said that wheat, corn, bread and other affected goods could become up to 40 percent more expensive in Haiti.

"There's no doubt the same ones will keep paying the price: those who are most disadvantaged," he said.

Haiti's government has said that starting Oct. 1, it will ban 23 Dominican goods from crossing the border of the island it shares with the Dominican Republic to improve tax collection. The goods will be allowed to enter Haiti by boat or plane through the capital of Port-au-Prince or the northern coastal town of Cap Haitien.

The goods represent some $500 million in sales a year and make up 6 percent of all Dominican exports. Haitian business leaders have praised the measure, saying it will help support the local economy.

The ban comes amid growing tensions between the two countries as the Dominican Republic steps up deportation of Haitians.

Both Navarro and Lorenzo Jimenez, a United Nations representative in the Dominican Republic, said leaders of both countries should meet to talk about the issue.