In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARICOM Competition Commission formed the COVID-19 Steering Committee to formulate strategies and implement measures and initiatives that will address issues relating to commercial and consumer welfare during the period of the pandemic. The Steering Committee comprises competition and consumer protection authorities and Government departments that have responsibility for competition and consumer protection matters in the CARICOM Member States. The Steering Committee has agreed on an Action Plan that covers three pillars, namely, (1) Monitoring product markets; (2) Competition and Consumer Advocacy; and (3) Enforcement Action. Objectives of the Steering Committee include information sharing among Member States and guiding business enterprises and consumers on matters.
The FTC is the lead agency responsible for activities defined under pillar #2: Competition and Consumer Advocacy. Activities include encouraging businesses and consumers to report misleading advertising, and excessive pricing; collaborating with sector regulators on areas that have sector-specific regulation to ensure information and services are accessible; educating or sensitizing businesses and consumers on the importance of competition and consumer protection; advising national Governments on policy and legislative measures to ensure markets function as well as possible in the coming months; and facilitating communication by competent authorities with the public on the availability of the internet to ensure work at home, education, emergency services and essential goods and services.