US will consider a review of GSP cuts – ASEAN Summit

PHOTO: US National Security advisor Robert O’Brien and Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha at yesterday’s Summit meeting in Bangkok – Thai PBS World

Behind the group photos at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, the backroom conversations have been fast and furious.

As a result of several unofficial and official meetings, US officials now says they will consider reviewing the suspension of trade preferences for Thai exports under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), to reduce the impact on the Thai private sector.

The US shift was explained to Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha by US National Security advisor Robert O’Brien during their talks at the ASEAN Summit yesterday morning.

Mr. O’Brien handed a letter from US President Trump to the Thai PM, in which the president said he values the long and close relationship between the US and Thailand and reconfirmed the US’s readiness to cooperate with Thailand and other ASEAN members for mutual benefit.

Both the PM and O’Brien agreed that Monday’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum was a good opportunity for the private sectors of ASEAN and the US to enhance investments in fields like energy, digital technology and infrastructure development.

During the meeting, the PM assured O’Brien that Thailand is ready to cooperate closely with the US, is committed to suppressing human trafficking and supports the US’s role in the region.

The PM also conveyed his wish to welcome the President and the First Lady to Thailand.

Meanwhile, concern by India, over the prospect of cheap and mass-produced Chinese products flooding Indian shelves is stalling plans to sign the world’s largest trade deal, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

A joint leaders’ statement on RCEP says that India has significant outstanding issues, which remain unresolved.

“All RCEP participating countries will work together to resolve these outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory way. India’s final decision will depend on satisfactory resolution of these issues.”

The leaders of ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Korea and New Zealand have indicated hope that the agreement can be signed next year.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

US will consider a review of GSP cuts - ASEAN Summit | News by Thaiger

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