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BANGKOK (NNT) – The spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office has assured that cuts to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) privileges by the United States on certain Thai products will not have a significant impact on exports to the country, with response measures already in place.

Thai-US trade in 2019 was valued at 48.63 billion USD, by the Ministry of Commerce, which is now planning activities to assist those businesses which will be hit by cuts to GSP privileges. Moves include online business matching, support for entry into online platforms and introduction to new markets away from the US.

Prime Minister’s Office Spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri explained, nonetheles, that Thailand will continue to be able to export goods to the US as usual, with the cuts only meaning that many goods will now face regular import duties. He noted that, of the 231 products with privileges under GSP, only 147 took advantage of the program in 2019, totaling 600 million baht in duties.

Products losing GSP support include automotive tires and some types of chemicals, which both have high export potential, beyond the US, in Europe and throughout Asia.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha previously described GSP privileges as aid from the US to developing nations and predicted that they would eventually be retracted, once Thailand becomes a middle-income nation in the eyes of the World Bank. He stated the government has been restructuring Thai economic strategy to favor technological and innovation based growth and investment in up and coming industries, such as robotics and AI, as well as innovative farming. It has also been registering Geographical Indication (GI) for Thai products to add value.

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