1 Oct 2012

Fiji US Business Council sees long road ahead if duty free access denied

2:06 pm on 1 October 2012

The President of the Fiji USA Business Council, David Voss, says it will be a long road ahead for companies in Fiji exporting to the United States if they lose the benefit of duty free trade with America.

A delegation from the interim government is in the US this week to defend Fiji's access to the American market following questions over union and worker rights in the country.

The interim government says 15 thousand jobs are on the line, 39 businesses could be affected and Fiji can expect an immediate loss of 57 million US dollars in export revenue

Mr Voss says businesses are very annoyed at the prospect of losing their benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences

"It gives businesses here an opportunity to get into the United States. It's a growing market there. We have certain companies here like Fiji Water, Pure Fiji, they do cosmetics, their market is growing all the time. To lose that edge then they have to rethink their whole strategy."

Mr Voss says nearly three quarters of the companies in Fiji which export to the US under the scheme have no other export market.