Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced today that it is accepting a petition from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) challenging Thailand’s eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preference program.
“GSP eligibility criteria are a core element to the success and fairness of the program,” said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish. “Congress directs USTR to ensure that beneficiary countries are permitting equitable and reasonable market access for American goods. The petition from the National Pork Producers Council raises important questions regarding Thailand’s compliance with this criterion for GSP eligibility.”
USTR’s acceptance of the NPPC petition will result in a public review of Thailand’s GSP eligibility, including a public hearing and comment period. Details on the review will be announced in an upcoming Federal Register notice.
The NPPC petition filed on April 16, 2018 alleges that Thailand fails to meet the GSP criterion requiring countries to provide “equitable and reasonable access” to its market. The NPPC alleges that Thailand maintains an array of import restrictions on U.S. pork, including a ban on uncooked pork and offal products and a ban on imports of pork produced with ractopamine. NPPC contends that Thailand has not adopted a “maximum residue limit” for ractopamine in line with the United Nations’ Codex Alimentarius standard and has not otherwise produced a science-based risk assessment justifying its regulation. Further, NPPC alleges that the government of Thailand rarely, if ever, grants import licenses for U.S. pork and that the few shipments that are licensed are charged excessive inspection fees.
A separate review of Thailand’s GSP eligibility based on a petition filed by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) remains ongoing.
For more information on the GSP program, visit the GSP page on the USTR website here.