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U.S. Trade Retaliation to Have Minimal Impact, Thailand Says

US trade retaliation GSP pork Thailand tariffs

The government said a United States decision to revoke tariff privileges for another group of Thai exports under its Generalized System of Preferences will have little impact on the affected industries.

Keerati Rushchano, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade, said the GSP revocation effective Dec. 30 covers Thai exports worth US$817 million but far fewer actual products would be hit and those are in such strong demand sales would not fall significantly even if their retail prices rise.

The U.S. slapped penalties on the Thai products in retaliation for Thailand blocking American pork fed with feed containing ractopamine, an additive used to promote leanness and increase food conversion. Ractopamine is banned in Thailand and other countries.

American trade officials called Thailand’s prohibition protectionist and revoked the GSP privileges that, in practice, will affect only 147 of 231 listed products worth about 18 billion baht.

They will be subject to tariff rates of 3%4% worth only $19 million or about 600 million baht. Quality products would, however, secure demand from U.S. consumers, Keerati insisted.

To help affected exporters, the Ministry of Commerce would conduct marketing campaigns through online and offline channels for the exports and coordinate loans with financial institutions to support exporters’ liquidity, he said.