Thailand has a number of trade barriers that operate as a de facto ban on U.S. pork exports. It has been unresponsive to calls from the United States to lift the restrictions and, in fact, has continued to ramp up import protections for pork in recent years. The actions have come despite the fact that Thailand receives enormous benefits from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program on exports to the United States. It is time for reciprocity in the U.S.-Thailand trade relationship. The trade barriers currently in place include a ractopamine ban, restriction on uncooked pork meat products and offal and permit refusals. Thailand should expeditiously open its market to U.S. pork.
Thailand should eliminate its de facto ban on U.S. pork. All U.S. pork and pork products should be allowed full access.
Thailand has a fast-growing tourism industry because of its strategic location near some of the largest markets in the world. It is a central hub for air travel in Asia, leading to a lot of food imported for airline use. There is a growing urban population, with rising disposable incomes, driving up its restaurant industry.
- Thailand has a population of more than 68 million people
- The hotel and restaurant sector expanded 6.7 percent in the first nine months of 2017
- 20 percent of the hotel and restaurant industry is being supplied by U.S. exports
Thailand shows great opportunity for the animal agriculture industry, especially for pork.