Thailand

NPPC’s Position

NPPC wants Thailand to eliminate its de facto ban on U.S. pork.

 

NPPC wants all U.S. pork and pork products to be allowed full access to the Thai market.

Background

Thailand has erected trade barriers that constitute a de facto ban on U.S. pork exports. These unwarranted barriers include prohibiting the feed additive ractopamine, restricting uncooked pork products and offal, and a refusal to issue import permits.

Thailand has been unresponsive to calls from the United States to lift these restrictions and, in recent years, has strengthened protectionist policies for its domestic hog farmers. Thailand has taken these actions despite receiving enormous benefits from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a program that provides developing nations with favorable access to the U.S. market.

In 2018, NPPC petitioned the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to review Thailand’s GSP eligibility because of its unjustified de facto ban on U.S. pork. In November 2020, USTR suspended $817 million in trade preferences for the country because it hadn’t made sufficient progress on providing the United States with “equitable and reasonable market access” for pork products.

Thailand’s domestic hog industry has been ravaged by African swine fever, creating a need for imported pork to fill the protein gap. The country is also experiencing a fast-growing tourism industry. Due to its central location to multiple commercial centers in the Asia-Pacific region has become a hub for air travel in Asia, prompting considerable food imports for airline use. In addition, with its growing urban population and rising disposable income, the restaurant industry is also seeing significant growth.

Fast Facts

2 metric tons

of US pork was imported by Thailand in 2021, a statistically insignificant amount.

68 million

is the population of Thailand, which has a cultural preference for pork.

$18 million annually

is the amount of U.S. pork that could be exported to Thailand if it eliminates its de facto ban on US pork.

Related Resources

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