Prayut asks US to reconsider trade preferences cut

Prayut asks US to reconsider trade preferences cut

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attend a bilateral meeting in Bangkok on Sunday. (Reuters photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attend a bilateral meeting in Bangkok on Sunday. (Reuters photo)

Thailand has asked the United States to reconsider Washington's decision to cut some Thai products from its list of low-tariff imports under the Generalized System of Preferences.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha raised Thai concerns about the decision in talks with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on the sidelines of the Asean Summit on Sunday, the government said in a statement.

Gen Prayut said the cut, to take effect early next year, will affect the private sector and the pubic. He said he had asked the US to reconsider the decision since the two countries are close allies.

The US announced on Oct 25 the planned suspension of $1.3 billion (39.2 billion baht) in trade preferences, ostensibly because of failure to curb labour abuses in the fishery industry.

Set to take effect on April 25, 2020, the suspensions cover a total of 573 types of goods that the Commerce Ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office said would face a higher import tariff of 4.5%, leading US-bound exports to drop by an estimated $28.8-32.8 million next year, or 0.01% of overall exports.


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