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Thai PM will negotiate the GSP issue with US officials during ASEAN Summit

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Thailand will hold talks with US officials, about the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) suspension for Thai exports to the US market, on the sidelines of the weekend’s ASEAN Summit, being held in Bangkok.

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says there are still six months in which to resolve the issues before the suspension of trade benefits for up to 500 Thai export items kicks in. He is also calling for a halt to speculation about the reason for the US action, claiming that only about 300 items will be affected and that several other countries have also been hit by similar measures.

There has been speculation that the US action is a retaliation against the ban on paraquat, chlorpyrifos and, especially, glyphosate by the National Hazardous Substances Committee last week.

The PM is assuring that the government is trying to resolve the problem and urges the private sector to do likewise but, if the US refuses to review its decision, he said that Thailand would have to accept it, according to Thai PBS.

The US announced the suspension of US$1.3 billion of trade benefits under the GSP program and the removal of Thai seafood products included in the program last Friday. The announcement cited Thailand’s failure to bring labour rights up to International Labour Organisation standards, pointing out the problems in the Thai fishing industry as an example. The Thai Commerce Ministry, meanwhile, claims that the impact of the US action will be limited and will cut annual export value by less than US$32.8 million next year.

The US is Thailand’s second-largest export market and shipments are valued around US$3s billion per annum.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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