The Grenville Phillips Column – Still the Worst Trade Agreement Ever

Grenville Phillips II, leader of Solutions Barbados

Errol Humphrey is a well-respected public figure who revealed himself as the vice-dean of the Caribbean team that negotiated the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).  Since he recently publicly challenged my assessment of the EPA, and given his prominent position, I reviewed the agreement again to see whether I had missed something.  I did not.  In my opinion, the EPA remains the worst trade agreement ever negotiated for the Caribbean.

Mr Humphrey did not address the fact that his trade team kept the draft agreement secret and would not allow me to review it despite repeated requests.  If they are negotiating on my behalf, then why must I only get to see what they have negotiated for me after it is signed?  That is the worst known way to negotiate a modern trade agreement.

Mr Humphrey does address the 6-month residency restriction in Europe, but does so by stating that it is not a restriction.  Let me quote him.

“The EPA, contrary to what Mr Phillips seems to think or would like to see, does not cover immigration.  It is customary to exclude immigration issues from trade agreements.  The EPA, as was intended and is appropriate, provides guaranteed market access, on a temporary basis, for a variety of service suppliers.”

Mr Humphrey makes two important but erroneous points.  First, that the EPA does not cover immigration matters, and second, that the EPA provides guaranteed market access.

On the first point, the EPA specifies limits of immigration, for example, “The temporary entry and stay of natural persons within the Party concerned shall be for a cumulative period of not more than six months.” (EPA, Article 83 (e))  This is an immigration restriction.

On the second point, if one wanted to properly negotiate guaranteed access for 6 months, then the wording of the agreement would specify a residency limit of “not less than 6 months” or simply “6 months”.  We have a duty to our children to negotiate trade agreements that do not lend themselves to easy misinterpretation.  The wording of “not more than 6 months” does not guarantee a 6-month stay or a 6-day stay.  It guarantees nothing.  The EPA is full of these careless, or clever “guarantees”.

Mr Humphrey does not address the fact that a 12 month construction project is too short to be competitive for Caribbean contractors.  Instead, he attempts to school me on how I should do work in Europe.  He wrote that if I am “truly desirous” of working on long duration (or lucrative) projects in Europe, then I should open a company in Europe.  I wonder if we are looking at the same EPA agreement.

The European Union has not harmonised trade agreements with its constituent members. Therefore, each European country has its own trade barriers which are stated in the Agreement.  For example, if I wanted to open a company in Sweden, then at least half of the company’s directors must be citizens of and resident in Sweden. (EPA, Annex IV, A).

It is worth revealing that if a European company wants to start a company in Barbados, then 100% of its directors can be European.  I can understand why the European negotiators would try to convince our Caribbean negotiators that this is a favourable deal for the Caribbean.  However, this is one reason why draft trade agreements should never be kept secret.  “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”  (Proverbs 11:14).

Mr Humphrey disputes that the construction industry is as lucrative as I have claimed.  Perhaps he is unaware of the construction industry’s significant contribution to the GDP of Caribbean countries.  However, it does explain why the construction industry was negotiated away in favour of the cultural industries.  Thank you for your service Mr Humphrey.

Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
Advertisements

Tags: , ,

72 Comments on “The Grenville Phillips Column – Still the Worst Trade Agreement Ever”

  1. David April 13, 2017 at 6:25 AM #

    It is refreshing for some to see Grenville attacking some meaty issues. The question is whether the average voter has the capacity to receive these messages. Will his messages resonate or must a political aspirant in Barbados resort to the salacious and corn beef style.

    Like

  2. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 13, 2017 at 6:43 AM #

    Grenville has to use several forums to get his messages out, not everyone has the patience for the indepth analysis one would find on BU….find the blpgs that cater to those who understand a simpler bajan venacular that they can relate to…and also cater to them…because they are in the majority on the island….those are your majority votes right there.

    I will soon start charging Grenville…lol

    Like

  3. Vincent Haynes April 13, 2017 at 6:45 AM #

    His rebuttal is good and in a visionary country would have long been taken up by the powers that be.

    Unfortunately those power have never been interested in the bigger picture and have ensured that the sheeple are so indoctrinated in wukkups that it will go over their heads.

    Like

  4. Bush Tea April 13, 2017 at 7:38 AM #

    Humphrey Versus Phillips….
    No contest…
    Phillips is much too intelligent and persistent to be in such a mismatch…

    If only Phillips would align himself with someone like Caswell (who is on record as willing) or Come-and-sing-a-song, persons who are able to communicate with the masses (who vote), then he could be a major asset.

    Moses needed Aaron….

    Like

  5. David April 13, 2017 at 8:17 AM #

    @Bush Tea

    Grenville is on public record that he will reveal his candidate list next month. Let us see what talent he has attracted.

    Like

  6. Hants April 13, 2017 at 8:56 AM #

    @ David who wrote “. The question is whether the average voter has the capacity to receive these messages.”

    The average Bajan voter has the capacity to receive Corned beef, cheffette chicken, grantleys, tvs fridges and stoves.

    Right now Bajans are focused on preparations for gyrating bumpers and drinks.

    Like

  7. CUP Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZ April 13, 2017 at 9:03 AM #

    Well Well, he will be still long talking and the elections will be long over, He will cater to himself, he needs to learn how to cater to people and people needs,
    All the people in government feel they are smart or has brains and look where we are today when dealing with fraud and Ponzi,
    he can do a topic on PONZI and place it next to CLICO and the DBLP government then maybe he will see what the internatainal whiteman see to jam bim with downgrade after downgrade, Its a White system with black players looking to out play their masters.

    Like

  8. Pachamama April 13, 2017 at 9:18 AM #

    We always had the impression that this here Grenville is Richie Haynes incarnate

    Now those Haynesian economic positions are morphing into Trumpism

    Bajans are too copy!

    Tell us again, why is a guillotine not necessary?

    Like

  9. de pedantic Dribbler April 13, 2017 at 9:31 AM #

    @David at 6:25 AM , your remark that “It is refreshing for some to see Grenville attacking some meaty issues…must a political aspirant in Barbados resort to the salacious and corn beef style” appears to dismiss standard political winning warfare.

    Every aspirant must resort to the ‘salacious and corn beef style’ in order to galvanize voters’ interest.

    Call it what you will but what else other than ‘corn beef n biscuits’ was the ‘Mexicans are rapists… some are good people too, I presume…’!

    Mr Phillips’ acumen can’t be questioned and he surely will never lie as others do but it is equally insane for us to see this issue here prosecuted as a popular political story. This is a ‘Chamber of Commerce’, ‘Business Roundtable’ issue in the arcane terms discussed above.

    On a political platform it would still have to be distilled for popular consumption.

    So something maybe ….’We have these indifferent, lazy negotiators who are giving way all we meager, hard earned talents to these European rapists…no more…My team and I will put an end to this nonsense’! (the daily droll, as Phillips does not have that required brand of political nasty, seems to me if he is quoting ‘Proverbs’)

    On the substance of Grenville’s argument, his refutation that the agreement does not cover ‘immigration’ seems misleading. In practical terms you would need valid immigration status separate this EPA, surely.

    I do completely agree with his main point however that the agreement ( based on his synopsis above & Humphrey’s comment) does not appear to provide any serious and real opportunities for Bajan businesses seeking a foothold in Europe in the covered areas.

    So as he has prosecuted – other than shopping trips to Brussels or wherever – what was the purpose of the thing in the first place if it’s so damn ineffectual.

    Like

  10. Pachamama April 13, 2017 at 9:33 AM #

    Bushie

    You got more sense than that

    You are taking the mickey

    Or, you have to be speaking in jest

    Grenville ain’t gine do one shiiite!

    Or at best ah half-hearted attempt.

    There are not enough politicians or wannabees in Barbados to complete 3 slates, that could make sense, in these circumstances.

    Like

  11. David April 13, 2017 at 9:39 AM #

    @Dee Word

    Agree with you point and this is an unfortunate realty. It is why many support the benevolent dictator because the majority of the electorate are unable or to lazy to distil the important issues.

    We invest billions in education and then what?

    Like

  12. David April 13, 2017 at 9:42 AM #

    @Pacha

    Let us agree that Grenville is an academic and is learning on the jobregarding the politics, you must give him props for laying his views out there and taking the plunge. Let us hope he is an inspiration for others to do the same. Of all the third parties he is the most visible and he seems to be cranking it up. Let us see how he goes and keep the feedback coming.

    Like

  13. ndtewarie April 13, 2017 at 9:44 AM #

    POOR IS WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF HOPE

    Born and grew up as an orphan
    I knew I can and I know I can
    Then I got my long SC1 book list list
    But from my mom’s eyes I saw mist
    Then it hit home we were too poor
    To be chosen for the SC for sure
    I never had anything nice so what
    Back to school and swung the bat
    I had to do better, I was poor but bright
    Topped my class studying without light
    I passed all my exams even the PTA2 one
    I breathed a sigh of relief now its all done
    Got a break as a Pupil Teacher only part time
    But slipped back right into the religious slime
    They won’t hire me because I wasn’t a Christian3
    I was an outcast again ‘cause Hindi was my bastion
    I once thought of using the rope
    But I bid my time, never lost hope
    Then my Uncle from another county
    Send for me after hearing my story
    And I got a telegram one Friday afternoon
    To go to Anna Regina to Teach,.. too soon
    No clothes so I went to my Uncle with much hurt
    Went to Uncle Asraf and bought me $26.81 worth
    A big grip, raw cloth, shirts, a tie, comb and Brilliantine
    Left home going 200 miles away scary thoughts all mine
    Yes I got a break and gave thanks to the one Above
    I never lost hope for in my heart there was much love.

    NB. PTA= PUPIL TEACHERS APPOINTMENT; IN GUYANA, THE SCHOOLS WERE CONTROLLED BY THE CHURCH AND HINDUS WERE BARRED .

    Like

  14. Keep it Real April 13, 2017 at 10:07 AM #

    @ David

    Barbados have not invested $Billions in education what they have spent on is regurgitation.

    That is why they can continue to swallow the corrupt bullshit from the politicians and legal fraternity.

    If they were properly educated they would be able to decipher for themselves and end the majority hand to mouth behavior whilst those at the top continue to fleece them whilst laughing all the way to both local and offshore banks while their collectively suffered for the last 50 years of Independence.

    How any one can be tied to anyone political party and hold out hope every 5 years of more of the same with the exception of being B or Dlp fails me and is an insult to the word ‘education’.

    Like

  15. Vincent Haynes April 13, 2017 at 10:27 AM #

    Interesting Brasstacks today with Ronnie Yearwood,whose symposium is tonight.

    Ronnie highlighted the fact of our govt. refusing to be accountable to the electorate and we the electorate meekly accepting it…..how many times and how many people must stress this point before the sheeple react?

    Like

  16. Pachamama April 13, 2017 at 10:57 AM #

    David

    Generally agree!

    But, we will to our regret, be too accepting of political neophytes who start to sound like Trump or Richie Haynes.

    We know that Haynes wanted political power for itself, nothing more

    And Trump, always had a philosophy of no philosophy

    These are/were dangerous men

    More likely to take us backwards

    It maybe better to kill these fledgling dictators in the cradle

    Not celebrate the mere embarkation on devious quests to capture the popular imagination.

    Like

  17. Bush Tea April 13, 2017 at 11:34 AM #

    LOL @ Pacha
    Boss, left to your philosophy there would be no one left to operate the guillotine…

    Do you realise that we have been dealt a hand of 99.9% brass bowls? It would (will) take something of the order of nuclear weapons to achieve the kind of clean-up that you are postulating.

    Good grief Boss…. we have to make the best of the hand that we have been dealt…..

    Let Bushie shuffle the few value cards we have nuh…. 🙂

    Like

  18. Gabriel April 13, 2017 at 11:36 AM #

    In plain simple bajan Humphrey donkey get exposed.He is no match for Grenville.Grenville is the type of negotiator that IMF,World Bank,IADB,the RBC Trinidadian economist that always exposing Sinckler and Stuart donkey,they would prefer to have sitting opposite them when they talking money and development.

    Like

  19. Vincent Haynes April 13, 2017 at 12:36 PM #

    Three new candidates for St.Michael just announced…..Williams vs Col.Bostic,Grant vs Bradshaw and no name vs Prescod.

    Like

  20. David April 13, 2017 at 12:43 PM #

    Isn’t Walter vying to run against Prescod? Looks like there is some hesitation?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Vincent Haynes April 13, 2017 at 12:47 PM #

    This coming election will have a number of new candidates…..will be interesting to see how it plays out………hopefully the ball that is presently rolling will continue creating awareness amongst the sheeple of the power they posses,making it immaterial as to who makes up govt.

    Like

  22. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 13, 2017 at 1:47 PM #

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/95646/cl-financial-welcome-conditions

    The Caribbean people must be vigilant with this Lawrence Duprey and CL Financial attempt at resurrection into other business sectors.

    The biggest problem being……like in Barbados where government ministers refuse to enforce regulation of these shady companies, their Directors, General Managers and CEOs…because of their toxic and often criminal and colluding relationships.

    “GEORGETOWN – Minister of Finance Winston Jordan clarified Wednesday Chairman of the CL Financial Group, Lawrence Duprey has indicated three issues with regards to his relationship with Guyana.

    Minister Jordan, who met with the Financier Duprey recently, stated the Trinidadian business entrepreneur wished to first apologise for his past actions, and that of his company CLICO. cyrillawrenceduprey

    Secondly he wished to understand how much he owes to Guyana, and thirdly he wished to undertake certain investments, if allowed and if these are deemed profitable.

    Minister Jordan stated, “We are working on that. Our priority, of course, is to get back our money, and like I said, unless it is a rogue investment, we don’t look down on investments generally, certainly not coming from a CARICOM sister organisation so let’s focus and keep our heads on straight. Our priority is that we want back our money. Once that can happen, we will look at other opportunities.”

    Like

  23. Hal Austin April 13, 2017 at 2:09 PM #

    The Caribbean people must be vigilant with this Lawrence Duprey and CL Financial attempt at resurrection into other business sectors.
    The biggest problem being……like in Barbados where government ministers refuse to enforce regulation of these shady companies, their Directors, General Managers and CEOs…because of their toxic and often criminal and colluding relationships.

    Is regulation a problem in Barbados?

    Like

  24. Peltdownman April 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM #

    You will find that most trade agreements negotiated by Caricom will disproportionally favour the trading “partner”. I feel that we just negotiate these agreements without even thinking-out the need for them. Even in Caricom, the LDC’s refuse to graduate as they were supposed to twenty years ago, and are still blocking goods from the MDC’s. Politicians keep on insisting that local producers are not taking advantages of the opportunities offered by these agreements. What they don’t realise is that producers are spending their time fighting off cheap competition in their own market from their so-called “partners”.

    Like

  25. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 13, 2017 at 3:14 PM #

    Hal…ya keep asking the same foolish questions and expect to get a different answer, ya would not be any different to the idiots for ministers of government, it’s a good thing for Barbados ya stayed in the UK.

    Like

  26. Fiona April 13, 2017 at 3:24 PM #

    I am sorry, but the basic problem here is that Grenville clearly does not understand international trade and he is unwilling to learn….. Humprey’s explanation is very clear to anyone who has experience in this field. This is like Grenville arguing with a cardiologist…… Just out of his depth…..

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Bush Tea April 13, 2017 at 4:11 PM #

    @ Fiona
    You SHOULD be sorry…
    …cause you are talking shiite…. and on BU such effluent gets whacked.

    Grenville was VERY specific on where he thought that Humphrey erred. Do you REALLY expect to impress anyone here by talking shiite about ‘arguing with cardiologists’? …send a ‘cardiologist’ on BU and let us see if he can last longer that the great Dr. GP….

    You would need to explain why Humphrey would miss the weakness of a limiting agreement that, for example, specifies ‘not more than six months” (which could be anything from a week to six months) as opposed to empowering wording such as ‘a minimum of six months’?

    Perhaps you will also be able to explain why this ‘negotiation’ had to be secret until signed.
    Hopefully your explanation will rubbish Bushie’s own thinking that, since the wording is put together and delivered by the white people’s team, it is probably ALSO secret from the local Humphreys of this world too…. until the very last moment….

    Like

  28. Vincent Haynes April 13, 2017 at 4:35 PM #

    Santia Bradshaw will face off against Deryk Murray in the 4.30 news and not Grant as previously stated in the VOB 12.30 news……still no name for Prescods opponent.

    Like

  29. Gabriel April 13, 2017 at 4:47 PM #

    Fiona
    I am reading Grenville.Humphrey was out gunned.Simple.

    Like

  30. enuff April 13, 2017 at 4:55 PM #

    Stupse, you people still can’t see the folly of Grenville’s argument? #therabbitholerealdeep

    Like

  31. Hants April 13, 2017 at 5:33 PM #

    If Grenville Phillips can lead his party to victory in the next election it would be the greatest political feat in Bajan history.

    Waiting to see the CVs of the 30 candidates.

    Like

  32. David April 13, 2017 at 5:38 PM #

    Foreign reserves reported to have fallen to 329 million.

    Like

  33. Vincent Haynes April 13, 2017 at 5:58 PM #

    CBC News Barbados with Reann Phillips and 13 others.
    1 hr

    BARBADOS’ FOREIGN RESERVES FELL TWENTY-NINE PER CENT IN FEBRUARY THIS YEAR WHEN COMPARED TO THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR.

    That’s according to information contained in RBC Caribbean’s Economic Report for April 2017, which cited the Central Bank of Barbados as the source.

    Like

  34. Gabriel April 13, 2017 at 6:02 PM #

    We in deep deep doo doo.Marla Dukharan says to pull us out we need to save 600 million right away.Vat was at 15% now it’s at 19% if you buy manufactured-in- Bim goods.In spite of all the taxes started by Thompson and continued by Stuart and Sinckler Barbados we are still not attracting the type of investors that supports our standard of living,therefore something gotta give but when will Stuart call it.

    Like

  35. NorthernObserver April 13, 2017 at 6:30 PM #

    I guess who is right…GP vs EH; or whether the Trade agreement is run under ISO 9001 or who his candidates might be, takes a back seat to this RBC financial news?

    This growth in the local money supply, coupled with a reduction in reserves; and more importantly the RATE at which both are moving, makes the need for more immediate action necessary.

    Like

  36. Carson C. Cadogan April 13, 2017 at 7:58 PM #

    HI GUYS AND WELL WELL

    Very important news.

    Statement issued by George A.Pilgrim General Secretary of the Democratic Labour Party of the occasion of the Councils’ selection and ratification of candidates at a meeting held on April 13th 2017
    The Executive and the General Councils of the Democratic Labour Party at their monthly meeting in the month of April met and agreed to name a number of candidates. The party is pleased to announced in phase one of our selection process, we have added three new faces to the party’s line up of candidates for the next General Elections.
    For the past three years , the party involved itself in robust analysis and three years later and after some 82 plus meetings over the period we have decided to name for the for the City of Bridgetown,
    Henderson Williams, a product of Chapman Lane in the city, a former Deputy chairman of Rural Development Commission. CEO and Corporate Secretary of Needhams Point Ltd.
    For St Michael East;
    Nicholas Alleyne a product of Licorish Village and an employee of Barbados public Workers Cooperative Credit Union.
    For St Michael South East ;
    Rodney Grant a product of Regent Hill located in the Pine. Mr Grant is currently serving as CEO Pinelands an NGO involved in cultural social and economic development.
    The party publicly thanks these persons for volunteering to serve our party and country at a time when the country is hungry for FACTs.

    Like

  37. CUP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI April 13, 2017 at 7:59 PM #

    Keep it Real April 13, 2017 at 10:07 AM #@ Very real

    Gabriel April 13, 2017 at 6:02 PM #@ what have you been smoking? Vat was for the UDC moving people from land rent to land tax, but the BLP fffffthat up Owen and Mia, Vat is now to be 17.5 in real time more like 20%, DLP only added 2.5% for trash pick up but even that was fraud, and was looking to bring it to 22.5% in real time was 25%.

    In American the people got sick of the D and the R and voted Trump who was D and switch to R for they are a foolish group to vote skin and not brains,

    Even the People on this blog dont want to deal with truth , the lawyers, the writers, the posters, the new and the older bloggers, All looking to do the dirty work for both parties,
    SB Phillips still needs to wake up, He maybe Standing next to Me on a stage and We will look to cut into him if he comes with Mess,
    He better learn the hard truth , We know if these parties are not removed we will sink fasters for the only people they are fooling are the voters.

    If the Prime Minister of a nation can not help St . Michael South , that is real truth after 10 years and 8 years of that the PM, The land is the key and the missing records hidden is what will help the Banks to give loans under Clear Ttile, Only way to get some of that 24 Billion held in Banks movng , What is so hard to see with all of the PHDs and DOC ,Sir ,Lawyers, Bankers and Banking people on line, ,

    This is not a world problem its a Barbados DBLP Fraud , land fraud,PONZI VAT at 15% was to be Temporary , does temporary mean when MAi get in she will remove it ? Where has all this money gone to in the mean time ?
    Mia can not fit this with out going to jailm if the police did their work , Every Nation in the Caribbean was sweet bread for the Whites and their guns , coke and laundering with slave trafficking,

    Trump after the CIA crooks that allow this under GWB till now, Study the land see the truth ‘
    Pick a deed any deed and find the Plantation root title before you even look to build even Hyatt , None can run from History , WHY? It already happened

    Like

  38. David April 13, 2017 at 8:11 PM #

    One has to wonder why the DLP ‘jucked’ Todd in the Senate if he was marginal at best to represent the party in the next election,

    Like

  39. Pachamama April 13, 2017 at 8:13 PM #

    David

    Has Todd ever impressed you as a sentient being?

    Like

  40. Gabriel April 13, 2017 at 8:35 PM #

    Todd,the walking MP whose legacy will be in his declaration that all parliamentarians must declare their sexuality before entering parliament.Whatanass.Typical dem.No effing top storey. Shallow thinking.

    Like

  41. NorthernObserver April 13, 2017 at 8:40 PM #

    “For the past three years , the party involved itself in robust analysis and three years later and after some 82 plus meetings over the period”

    Is that supposed to imply the selection process was thorough or that few of the candidates interviewed jumped out as outstanding, so you kept looking.

    As a political operative you should know better. “After a thorough search and several interviews the Party is pleased to announce”. The robust, 3 year and 82+ meetings only opens the door to interpretation.

    Like

  42. enuff April 13, 2017 at 8:54 PM #

    NorthernObserver

    I just hope that is not the official release…lol

    Like

  43. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 13, 2017 at 9:00 PM #

    Carson…what ever happened to Walter Blackman.

    Yall playing smart, ya already got a bloated, lazy, incompetent, ineffective cabinet, nobody wants more of the same, at taxpayer’s expense.

    If foreign reserves fall another 200 million by June…yall dog died, no amount of new candidates can help ya…

    Where are you going to get 600 million dollars from…..”Ten Dollar” Lashley’s scam may not even net ten dollars.

    Like

  44. Gabriel April 13, 2017 at 9:13 PM #

    Enuff @4.55pm
    Awaiting your enlightened interpretation and possibly the removal of the blinkers for the less fortunate.

    Like

  45. fortyacresandamule April 13, 2017 at 10:03 PM #

    I repeat, reciprocity trade deals betweeen two hugely unequal entities are always one-side trade deals. It is basically a zero sum game. The CSME deal was bad enough, much less EPA. However, I think this issue of immigration and construction service in Europe is much to do about nothing.

    Seriously, how many firms in Caricom possess the technology, expertise, capital , standard, and competitiveness to win those kind of contracts in Europe?

    Like

  46. Bush Tea April 13, 2017 at 10:15 PM #

    @ 40acres+1mule
    Seriously, how many firms in Caricom possess the technology, expertise, capital , standard, and competitiveness to win those kind of contracts in Europe?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Very few….admittedly.

    But…
    Here is another question.
    Really seriously…
    Knowing Bajans as we all do….
    How many local negotiators would expend ANY effort to negotiate agreements that would favour any such (rare) local firms? …without ‘suitable’ incentives…?

    Like

  47. nineofnine April 13, 2017 at 10:21 PM #

    Just like Britain is removing itself from the EU (Brexit), in time to come hopefully when eyes are open, we will see how these people use these “agreements” to infiltrate and control ones’ country/region making their “law” superior to ours with little or no benefit, then we too shall remove ourselves from this deception.

    We need very strong negotiators in any pursuit deemed necessary if it makes sense being involved.

    Like

  48. Fiona April 14, 2017 at 1:10 AM #

    What Grenville is demanding in a trade agreement for the temporary entry of persons (mode 4 trade) is practically unheard of…… Trade partners may make concessions to permit you bring in your personnel to set up a business (mode 3 trade). This is the distinction that Humphrey makes. If you doubt me, I invite you to look at the commitments under the General Agreement in Trade in Services. It typically reads – unbound – which means the country will not allow it. Any trained international trade expert will tell you this.

    For me to sit here and break down how Grenville is wrong would honestly not be the best use of my time. I only ask that you keep an open mind and look critically at what Humphrey said. An argument that sounds more forceful and persuasive is not always right……

    Bushie, if I were presumptuous enough to argue with Grenville about a building code, I believe your lashes would be well merited……

    Secret negotiations are the very heart of trade diplomacy. It was not unique to this agreement. How can you engage in serious negotiations with everyone taking information out of context and, even worse, using it to promote their own narrow political or economic agenda? You will not believe me, but private sector agencies and civil society are included in national consultations prior negotiations to ensure that each country’s negotiators understand the their red line- issues on which you can make no concessions.

    Like

  49. David April 14, 2017 at 2:45 AM #

    Like

  50. Bush Tea April 14, 2017 at 7:05 AM #

    @ Fiona
    Thanks for your very mature response to Bushie’s provocative comment.

    Yours has been the position taken by most trained regional ‘professionals’ in the area. Namely, that there is a ‘right and traditional’ way of doing things, and heaven forbid that we should allow scamps such as Bushie, Pacha and Grenville to come and disturb this tried and proven methodology.

    Have you looked at the results that we have seen from your approach?
    Do you not see unidirectional benefits headed north …while we become beggars and serfs – producing nothing; owning nothing; worth nothing more than consumers of southbound junk?
    The approach that you seek to defend is flawed. Secrecy only breeds graft, incompetence and hidden agendas.

    Consider our recent CAHILL experience – where a massive international agreement was being ‘hammered out’ by “professionals”, in secret – with the aim of solving our ‘critical’ solid waste issues.
    BU declassified the whole shiite scheme – only to reveal a massive scam, signed off by the Froon himself, and clearly designed to transfer huge sums from our treasury into private hands. Do you recall how CRITICAL this project was? Do you recall the many ‘benefits’ it would bring us?
    Suddenly, solid waste is the least of our problems…. now that the CAHILL scheme has been exposed. You will find that so-called “free trade” will also be found to be wanting when the whole globalisation scam is fully exposed for what it REALLY is….

    Your way is the way to sure serfdom for brass bowls.
    What Grenville is arguing at least gives us a chance to have a say in our future….

    Like

  51. de pedantic Dribbler April 14, 2017 at 8:23 AM #

    @7:05 AM, BushTea, you are being as usual provocatively populist friendly but absolutely unrealistic and impractical.

    I can completely agree that there is always a need to explore new and aggressive ways to attack the ‘business as usual’ mentality but Fiona’s riposte to you and Grenville is well stated and deals with an absolute imprecision of his analysis of the treaty process.

    We all can surely agree with her 1:10 AM remarks. I would say that it does not take years of training as an international trade practitioner to recognize the flaws in Grenville’s argument. Business experience in cross borders affairs provides an appreciation of his misleading interpretations.

    These matters surely require careful study of the details in order to pass an accurate opinion on the matter but accepted principles must always be ‘sacrosanct’ for practical reasons and cannot be dispensed or overlooked simply because one wants to try a different process.

    Certainly on trade matters one of those is the point noted that consultation with the business and professional communities prior to any ratification of an agreement of this type is, to bluntly state, mandatory.

    That the details of such a document were ‘secretive from the public’ is therefore counterintuitive and nonsensical. Something negotiated – to the benefit of businessmen/professional – must be based on extensive discussions with folks in those trade spaces: Grenville’s world…. maybe he was not at the table himself but others of his trade had to be consulted.

    And of course EVERY contract negotiation is treated with ‘confidentiality’. How on earth can such matters be ventilated to meander through the hundreds of opinions from the general public.

    CAHILL and all such major contracts are NEVER done in secret in WELL ORGANIZED societies…delegations from government and NGO personnel carefully explore all the issues and there is significant input before a final decision…they are the ‘public’ too

    That itself does NOT gainsay that corrupted officials will still yet subvert the best efforts of well intentioned officials but to obfuscate and confuse the issue by suggesting that the trade agreement and the CAHILL debacle are equivalent is really beneath practical argumentation.

    At the end of the day, Grenville the expert condemns the agreement as unhelpful to gaining new business and he certainly should be able to make that assessment. Thus the agreement STILL appears to lack substance.

    I certainly CANNOT fault him on that as I don’t play in that space but his analysis of the ‘process’ does not have the same gravitas.

    Like

  52. Gabriel April 14, 2017 at 8:28 AM #

    Bushie @7.05a
    Proper

    Like

  53. Bush Tea April 14, 2017 at 9:07 AM #

    @ Dribbler
    Do you read your posts….? CAN you actually read…?
    Boss after reading you, …Bushie is always tempted to reach for the’flush’ lever…

    Long and short….
    You are a lackie. It is not surprising therefore that you would be inclined to conform to the white people’s way of doing things.
    Shiite …. the highlight of your life is that you CHOSE to live in their world.

    Fiona essentially says that there is a ‘way’ to do things, and it seems that Grenville wants to upset the apple cart….
    Bushie says that the current ‘way’ is not working for us …so why not ‘skin over’ the damn cart?

    ….still trying to figure out what YOU are trying to say…
    … apart from your usual spiel …that ‘Bushie is talking shiite’ (as if that is anything new 🙂 )
    LOL
    ha ha ha
    Murda!!!

    @ Gabriel
    Thanks Boss…

    Like

  54. de pedantic Dribbler April 14, 2017 at 10:07 AM #

    What I am saying is quite simple really – and it’s not that you are talking shiiite.

    Your and Grenville’s assessment of the contract PROCESS is nonsensical.

    At no point do the public drill into contract negotiations – what happens of course prior to any negotiations which involve major impact on the public are basic actions like consultations, assessment studies, letters reviewed from the public and maybe even town hall meetings.

    It makes no practical sense to suggest otherwise. Why then have law and other subject matter experts to craft these onerous documents.

    Thus simply stated : You produce lovely populist verbiage which is impractical and which you NEVER adopted when you were the one leading activities. LOLL.

    Grenville is an accomplished pro. No one questions that. And maybe these negotiators were poor and maybe Grenville would have done a much better job. All very possible but maybe he also would not have.

    Your rhetoric sounds exactly like Trump’s. That is that despite this world of 100s of years old and despite the long hard yards of millions of negotiated contracts here we are quibbling about the nuanced phrasing of ‘no more than six months’ in one more agreement.

    Nonsensical nit-picking.

    Like Trump you popularly offer a different way … like with North Korea. Let’s see if he is so absolutely foolhardy to dismantle by bombing their nuclear arsenal if they conduct a test this long Easter weekend.

    That would be doing things quite differently, also fah sure. Steeupse.

    But then again maybe you know he will as that initiates your end-day BBE prophecy.

    You may flush, good sir!

    Like

  55. Bush Tea April 14, 2017 at 10:46 AM #

    @ Dribbler
    Perhaps Bushie errs in assuming that you understand some basics in the discussion, and that it is not necessary to spell all the ABCs of the issue …as would be needed for a baby….
    So here goes…
    Apparently, your point is that…
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    “At no point do the public drill into contract negotiations”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The whole point of Grenville’s article is that HE was refused information on the details of the negotiation during the process …DESPITE repeated requests.
    Grenville has NEVER been ‘the public’. He was a long-standing director of a highly respected regional engineering company. He was the president of the Local Engineering Association. He is probably the most highly qualified structural engineer in the region. He is opinionated (he and Owen Arthur had a memorable cuss-out at Sherbourne some years ago 🙂 … and he was indeed THE reference that ANY intelligent negotiator SHOULD have sourced in order to properly understand the issues from the local perspective….

    As hinted, he was not a popular ‘insider’ with the “powers-that-be” at the time…..

    …do you REALLY want Bushie to go any further…..? or can you already smell the hydrogen sulphide associated with your posts?

    Steupsss….
    apology accepted.
    LOL
    ha ha ha

    Like

  56. de pedantic Dribbler April 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM #

    Senor,why is it always necessary to adopt these silly personal attacks to discuss basic disagreements of data points.

    Yes the issue of the entire debate has been Grenville’s prosecution of the access to which you referred. Indeed, per your remark: “The whole point of Grenville’s article is that HE was refused information on the details of the negotiation during the process …DESPITE repeated requests”.

    I noticed that in his remarks but deliberately refrained from going there as that smacked directly of his ego.

    Look bro if you can validate that the negotiating team did NOT interface with the then “president of the Local Engineering Association” or a team from his group and other professionals from the other relevant trades which this agreement covered then your points are fully accepted.

    If NOT then you are being ridiculous, nonsensical and blatantly biased to his petulance.

    According to you Grenville was basically miffed that he did NOT have that track of an “insider with the ‘powers-that-be’ “. Thus you are simply carrying Grenville’s ‘water cup’… because he was “THE reference [for] ANY intelligent negotiator”…

    …. not because there was ANYTHING WRONG WITH PROCESS.

    Frankly, being pissed when your expert voice is not accepted is as excellent a motivator to action as anything else.

    But please don’t wrap that personal pique into some popular screed, fah real.

    That is surely flushable….so let the water cascade at this point !

    Like

  57. Tron April 14, 2017 at 1:11 PM #

    Gabriel,

    saving 600 mio.? The press just reported that 16 new permanent secretaries were installed. They learn nothing.

    A tiny microstate in the Atlantic Ocean tries to emulate the bureaucracy in USA and UK. That cannot work.

    Like

  58. Hal Austin April 14, 2017 at 1:15 PM #

    de pedantic,

    Personal attacks…..never.

    Like

  59. Bush Tea April 14, 2017 at 1:15 PM #

    So if Bushie (who has lived through all this shiite in Bim) can validate the facts as stated, then his points are accepted…..
    However, if de Dribbler (languishing in the bowels of albino-land now for decades …and going only from bits he picked up on line…) is IGNORANT of the actual facts, Bushie is being personal?

    Shiite man Dribbler…
    If you were in Barbados you would fit right into the current DLP cabinet….
    You clearly are not checking your posts for logic…..

    BTW…
    Who EVER said that Phillips was miffed?
    The man merely pointed out the WEAKNESS of the agreement, and the background that could explain such a weakness.
    Obviously no one else (except perhaps Humphrey & team) would be in a position to speak authoritatively to THAT particular issue. But that the agreement is ‘weak’ can be seen by the results achieved.

    Skippa…. whatever you drinking…
    Chuck it…..

    Like

  60. Bush Tea April 14, 2017 at 1:33 PM #

    @ Hal
    Bushie likes personal attacks.
    Ad hominem is the bushman’s personal favourite approach.

    Neither you, Dribbler or anyone else can tell a bushman how to whack. Bushie is not intimidated by wunna shiite clichés about how debate should be conducted.
    People who abandon their home and family and set up shop in ‘foreign’ should focus their attention on their adopted homeland and it’s issues.

    There is nothing worse that being talked down to by some scamp who thinks that he knows how we should behave and act – based on his comfort level with being a second class citizen in albino-land.
    Our problems are VERY different – we being second class citizens in OUR land where we are the overwhelming majority….. Wunna don’t know squat.

    No relevant argument or discussion is complete without constant reference to the shiite perspective that such ill informed persons bring… ad hominem or not…
    …present company (you, Dribbler and Bushie’s main man “Hants” of course ) excepted….

    LOL
    ha ha ha
    Wuhloss!!!

    Like

  61. enuff April 14, 2017 at 2:16 PM #

    Talk yuh talk Fiona. Anyone not washed in the blood of the 3rd coming could see the man does not understand trade agreements.

    Like

  62. Bush Tea April 14, 2017 at 2:44 PM #

    @ enuff…

    Don’t hide behind Fiona…. come out and tek yuh licks like a man…

    The question is not one of ‘understanding trade agreements’ it is understanding what is a FAIR exchange …and what is a one-sided arrangement.
    There is no benefit in walking about talking shiite about a ‘trade agreement’ when in fact, the businesses it is touted to facilitate find themselves at a disadvantage from a slanted playing field.

    No sense telling you this though – you still can’t see that CSME almost completely broke Barbados …and changed our laws to facilitate outsiders …while reciprocity languished….

    It is not about trade agreements- it is about common sense.

    @ Grenville
    Shiite though boss…. you got money to pay Bushie to be your press secretary?

    Here is the Bushman doing your PR wuk …and you like you off playing golf with Trump or baloney.

    Wuh yuh could at least wait til you are elected…. 🙂

    Like

  63. enuff April 14, 2017 at 3:07 PM #

    Bushie, whoever sent you tell dem I ain’t home. Before yuh go tho–there is something called spirit/intent of the law/trade agreement. I also recall you inferring the engineer would support tall buildings in Bridgetown to feather his and the pockets of his engineering colleagues. Note Errol Humphrey apparently sell out the construction industry for the cultural industries. Happy Easter.

    Like

  64. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 14, 2017 at 3:11 PM #

    “Your and Grenville’s assessment of the contract PROCESS is nonsensical.”

    Pedant…ya will lose this one based solely on the fact that if Grenville or any other citizen of Barbados requested copies of information that more often than npt negatively impacts their lives and the lives of all the citizens.., given the halfassed negotiations and contracts the unskilled ministers and their reps make with more skilled trading partners, which never benefits bajans……as a citizen, he has a right to be pissed and expose them…..he should have been given the copies.

    In addition, given the nasty secret society emanating out of the parliament where no FOI is forthcoming from untrustworthy, deceitful government ministers….Grenville should have taken the matter to court and established a precedent…he had a right to review and examine that draft agreement.

    Just imagine any member of the Trudeau government negotiated trade agreements/ contracts that never benefits Canadians and hid the contents of those contracts from Canadians. …imagine the shitstorm…imagine the shitstorm that would provoke in US and UK should that happen, the citizens would go ballistic…..as they should…..well, Barbados and the Caribbean should be no different.

    …Bajans should not accept secretive behavior and secret contracts signed on their behalf by by mediocre governments.

    Like

  65. Bush Tea April 14, 2017 at 3:24 PM #

    @ enuff
    Ha ha ha…
    Home or not, … we know that yuh have the apple i7 in yuh pocket and checking every five minutes.
    Bushie ‘inferred’ no such thing about Grenville. The bushman simply stated that as a structural engineer, we could only EXPECT that he would LOVE tall buildings as much as a poet like rhyme… or a bushman likes whacking…
    What the hell do you think Grenville dreams about at night…?

    ‘Part yuh going though…? ….flying a kite?
    or you hiding from the coolie man?

    Like

  66. enuff April 14, 2017 at 4:38 PM #

    Didn’t Obama negotiate the terms of the TPP in secret? Like Fiona said, details are normally kept secret until the final agreement.

    Like

  67. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 14, 2017 at 7:39 PM #

    Enuff…even after the final contracts are signed, the governments of Barbados still do not release information to the public……it’s only years later when poeople realize the ministers signed shit agreements to once again disenfranchise bajans that some people share that information while the government still stay silent like they are not accountable and dont owe the taxpayers an explanation

    ……if the media in the US thought it was absolutely necessary, they would have filed suit under FOIA and have copies of the agreements released, but only if they had to.

    Like

  68. Gabriel April 14, 2017 at 8:05 PM #

    Errol Barrow said it years ago.If we are not careful we will awaken one day and find we don’t own Barbados anymore.These secret and secretive trade agreements and all this fancy talk is leading us to that Barrow realization.There are some Grenvilles who are telling those Errols and Fionas that this moral that a bad agreement is better than no agreement is not on.No agreement is better than a bad agreement which continues to favour the developed world to the detriment of the developing.Wait….so we en people too!

    Like

  69. nextparty246 April 14, 2017 at 11:02 PM #

    Dear Fiona and Dribbler:

    I have presented incontrovertible evidence from the EPA, which neither of you have addressed. Let me restate my position.

    I did not ask to see the draft working document during the trade negotiations, so your comments on that issue are irrelevant. I asked to see the final draft before it was signed. That document should not be kept secret. That it was kept secret was an absurd negotiating strategy normally adopted by the side who wants to lose.

    The Europeans did not want to lose and willingly gave me a copy of this final draft – before it was signed. Why? Because they were not stupid and wanted to win. Are you starting to understand yet? Since you seem to know so much about our negotiators’ strategy, did we come up with this strategy of secrecy all on our own, or did the Europeans encourage us to keep the final draft secret – while they did not follow such obvious lunacy.

    To be charitable, perhaps the instruction was two-fold. Perhaps the working draft was to be kept secret, but the final draft was to be shared with the stakeholders for whom the trade agreement was to benefit. Perhaps the last part was on a second page which you forgot to read. Either way, why slavishly follow a strategy that normally guarantees failure? Do you have any idea what you have done!

    After examining the EPA, I found that it was favourable for the Cultural Industries, but not for the Construction sector. I explained the fatal flaws for the Construction sector to our negotiators (who expressed no small amount of surprise that I had obtained a copy) and requested that they be addressed prior to signing.

    The negotiators accepted my arguments but ignored every fatal flaw. It was explained to me that the Europeans may grant extensions and waivers. Is that the best that we can do? Why must we be forced to rely entirely on the mercy of European bureaucrats? What is so appalling is that we have guaranteed the Europeans access to our markets, but allowed them to protect their markets from us.

    After the agreement was signed – without being corrected, I explained to our politicians just what they had signed, and they explained to me that they had to sacrifice the sunset industries for the sunrise. As expected, the EPA has been a general failure after about a decade in operation. Why ignore that evidence? Our politicians are now berating the private sector for not taking advantage of the EPA, seemingly oblivious that they have signed a trade agreement to keep us out of Europe, but to allow the Europeans guaranteed access to our market.

    So, what category of service providers have taken advantage of the EPA? Predictably, the entertainers. However, their revenues are pittance in comparison to what the Construction Industry could have earned. If the voters ever elect us to represent them, then the Europeans will realize that their time of negotiating with children has come to an end.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Like

  70. nextparty246 April 14, 2017 at 11:11 PM #

    Dear Fiona and Dribbler:

    I have presented incontrovertible evidence from the EPA, which neither of you have addressed. Let me restate my position.

    I did not ask to see the draft working document during the trade negotiations, so your comments on that issue are irrelevant. I asked to see the final draft before it was signed. That document should not be kept secret. That it was kept secret was an absurd negotiating strategy normally adopted by the side that wants to lose.

    The Europeans did not want to lose and willingly gave me a copy of this final draft – before it was signed. Why? Because they were not stupid and wanted to win. Are you starting to understand yet? Since you seem to know so much about our negotiators’ strategy, did we come up with this strategy of secrecy all on our own, or did the Europeans encourage us to keep the final draft secret – while they did not follow such obvious lunacy.

    To be charitable, perhaps the instruction was two-fold. Perhaps the working draft was to be kept secret, but the final draft was to be shared with the stakeholders for whom the trade agreement was to benefit. Perhaps that last part was on a second page which you forgot to read. Either way, why slavishly follow a strategy that normally guarantees failure? Do you have any idea what you have done in encouraging this failed strategy!

    After examining the draft EPA document, I found that it was favourable for Caribbean cultural industries, but not for our construction sector. I identified and explained the fatal flaws in it for the Construction sector to our negotiators (who expressed no small amount of surprise that I had obtained a copy) and requested that they be addressed prior to signing.

    The negotiators accepted my arguments but ignored every fatal flaw. It was explained to me that the Europeans may grant extensions and waivers. Is that the best that we can do? Why must we be forced to rely entirely on the mercy of European bureaucrats? What is so appalling is that we have guaranteed the Europeans access to our markets, but allowed them to protect their markets from us.

    After the agreement was signed – without being corrected, I explained to our politicians just what they had signed, and they explained to me that they had to sacrifice the sunset industries for the sunrise. As expected, the EPA has been a general failure. Our politicians are now berating the private sector for not taking advantage of the EPA, seemingly oblivious that they have signed a trade agreement to keep us out of Europe, but allowed the Europeans guaranteed access to our market.

    So, what category of service providers have taken advantage of the EPA? Predictably, the entertainers. However, their revenues are pittance in comparison to what the Construction Industry could have earned. If the voters ever elect us to represent them, then the Europeans will realize that their days of negotiating with children has come to an end.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Like

  71. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 15, 2017 at 2:24 AM #

    I thought all of that was understood the first time Grenville posted on this subject…it is a trend ministers sign contracts that do not benefit the majority population.

    The Cahill scam was among the most vile contracts coming out of this administration, I would not be surprised that other contracts are even worse given that millions are made by the other signers and bajans make nothing…they cant even get liveable housing or enough water…or…..or…and the lists of bad contract negotiations from both administrations go on and on.

    Like

  72. Enuff April 15, 2017 at 7:40 AM #

    Hmmmm where did I witness this nuffernarian behaviour regarding the ease of concluding bilateral agreements before hmmmm, oh yeah the now infamous “over a bowl of soup at Consett Bay”. I say no more…de ja vu all over again.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: