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Government urged to tighten trade policies in 2020 budget

Source Myjoyonline

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to ensure that the 2020 Budget and Economic Policy next week reflects a robust trade policy that supports growth.

“Our trade policy is over-liberalised and inconsistent with the objective of building a strong private sector which is capable of creating quality employment,” the TUC said in a statement that outlines its proposals for the 2020 budget.

The umbrella body for all labour unions in Ghana noted that, “over a long period, the national trade policy has maintained extremely low tariffs on some of the basic products for which we have the capacity to produce domestically. Government has also removed or reduced tariffs on significant amounts of imported items in line with free trade agreements that are skewed against our interests.”

TUC is of the view that the 2020 Budget and Economic Policy Statement presents Ghana with a unique opportunity to implement homegrown policies without the restrictions of the IMF.

“We expect policies that strengthen macroeconomic framework and also ensure that economic growth and other indicators have real meaning for Ghanaians. The budget must outline practical measures to support domestic production and reduce national dependence on imports for basic products. It must address the challenges of the private sector. The only way we can expand national outputs outside of the natural resources and to create decent employment is a conscious policy to support and protect domestic industry and manufacturing,” the TUC said.

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