On the US decision to discontinue offering the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, covering some 570 Thai export products to the United States, the Ministry of Commerce has set up a “War Room” unit, to pursue urgent discussions with affected private companies, in an effort to maintain the level of exports of tax-applicable products, and to find replacement markets.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit, said today the ministry is looking into the details on 573 products which will no longer receive import tax exemption from the U.S. under the GSP program, saying that some products such as chemicals will now be subjected to just 0.01 percent tax, while others will face up to 20 percent.
The Ministry of Commerce is working to come up with remedies, which will be proposed to the joint committee on commerce’s meeting.
The Thai Commercial Affairs office in Washington D.C. has been tasked with holding talks with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) tomorrow, to establish common practice during the 6-month period of grace prior to the proposed GSP cancellation, while the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok as a possible opportunity to hold discussions regarding the GSP will be reviewed for appropriateness, as discussions with the USTR would be the most direct route to solving the issue.
On labour concerns and Washington’s request to allow the migrant workers union’s establishment in Thailand, the Commerce Minister said today the Ministry of Labor is the responsible agency required to handle this question, and will have to weigh up what will affect the country more between allowing the migrant workers union to be set up, or losing the tax exemption scheme.Facebook.
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