Thailand’s duty-free privileges for US$817 million in exports with the US are to be revoked from the end of this year, according to US President Trump in an announcement yesterday. The President blamed a lack of progress in opening the Thai market to US pork products. Trump’s letter announcing the action follows more than 2 years of threats and negotiations with Thai officials over issues ranging from access to Thailand’s markets for US goods and the documented inadequate labour rights in the south east Asian nation.
Washington will now eliminate some tariff benefits for Thailand, accusing the country of failing to allow imports of pork from US producers.
GRAPHIC: Global pork production in 2020, by country (in 1,000 metric tonnes) – statista.com
The suspension of the Generalised System of Preferences access follows a suspension earlier this year on about $1.3 billion worth imports from Thailand, which once had such privileges for about US$4.4 billion in exports to the United States.
The US Trade Representative’s office said the list of products includes mango, pineapple, manicure kits, steel pipes and precious stones., auto parts, dried produce, tools, electrical products and aluminium kitchenware.
Writing to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump said… “I have determined that Thailand has not assured the United States that Thailand will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.”
GSP, Generalised System of Preferences, is a 70s-era program of US trade preferences for developing economies aimed at improving workers’ rights and access to broader markets.
“The US Trade Representative’s office also announced that it had closed other GSP eligibility reviews with no loss of benefits for Georgia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. It also said new GSP reviews were opened for Eritrea based on concerns about workers’ rights.”
SOURCE: Reuters | VOANews | statista.com
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