Santo Domingo.- The Government expressed this Thursday its confidence that the United States will rectify the veto on the products of the Dominican sugar company Central Romana CorporationLtd. for an alleged use of forced labor, since “there is no evidence” of these practices.
“Hopefully this measure will be rectified because the truth is that, from what I have heard, there is no evidence” that these violations of the labor rights of company employees occur, the Dominican Minister of Agriculture told reporters. Limbert Cruz.
He affirmed that he has visited the company on different occasions and has not seen that there is a use of forced labor, “that does not exist in Central Romana”, so he hopes that it “will be reviewed” and properly investigated so that “it remains fully sanitized.”
“I can categorically say that Central Romana is an example of production”, he insisted.
You can read: They affirm EU action against Central Romana is part of the harassment of the DR
Cane sugar, he added, “is one of the most important export products that the Dominican Republic has” and this veto “would be disastrous for our country, so I hope, as Minister of Agriculture, that this is clarified” or that evidence that supports the accusations on which the measure is based.
The US Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) indicated this Wednesday in a statement that it identified five of the eleven criteria of the International Labor Organization (ILO) that indicate abuses of employees Therefore, unrefined sugar products (brown) and sugar products made in the Dominican Republic by Central Romana will be retained.
Central Romana maintains a sugar production of more than 400,000 tons per year and, according to Cruz, exports some 138,000 tons per year to the US, with a preferential quota, “and it is important that the country does not lose that opportunity it has.” with the United States.
After learning of the veto, the sugar company issued a statement in which it expressed its astonishment and rejection of “the public statement of the United States Customs and Border Protection officers, in relation to the detention of shipments of unrefined sugar and products sugar-based” that the company makes.
You can read: Central Romana responds to accusation against the US about practices of “forced labor”
Likewise, the company affirmed that “the reasons that support this measure do not reflect the policies and practices of Central Romana, which for more than a century has been a benchmark in implementing social responsibility programs focused on health, education, housing and affordable food.” of all our workers and their families.