Government is seeking to have Trinidad and Tobago removed from the European Union’s (EU)s financial blacklist.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, in his contribution to the budget debate in the House today, said he is in communication with the European Commission (EC) and EU, in line with Caricom’s position, to say that their blacklisting of TT “is to be rejected and that we will take aggressive steps, because the data demonstrates that we have achieved every target that they have asked us in the FATF regime to achieve, and therefore the EU’s utilisation of the FATF methodology is wrong and is inappropriate.”
He said Government brought the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) suite of legislation and managed to pass it under threat of international sanction. He also said legislation has been brought to deal with a number of areas related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and TT has successfully graduated out of the FATF greylisting.
“And that is a unique accomplishment which we received international accolade on.”
Al-Rawi said Government intended to take that charge squarely to the EU, as the next review is in November. He reported he has been in conversation with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and attorneys general and other participants regarding a unified approach, and Caricom has written to the EU and EC.
He said “We cannot be allowed to de-bank and to de-risk ourselves in this fashion.”