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MOF backs TPP but livestock sector against pact

Feb 15. 2016
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The finance minister has said that if Thailand participates in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade pact its economy will expand
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said a Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) study found mostly positive impacts from the TPP, while negative impacts could be felt by the pharmaceutical industry and the government would have to find relief measures.
The Commerce Ministry is also studying the potential impacts.
“If Thailand takes part in the TPP, some of the country’s rules will need to be adjusted to be in line with TPP member countries, like state procurement,” Apisak said.
FPO director-general Krisda Chinavicharana said that if Thailand, which currently has trade surpluses with most TPP member countries, joined them it would have an opportunity to sell more products to them.
In 2014, Thailand exported Bt2.96 trillion to the 12 current TPP member countries and imported Bt2.69 trillion from them.
Of the 12 countries, Thailand had trade deficits with only Brunei, Japan and Malaysia. 
The TPP countries also include the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Their combined gross domestic product totalled US$77.87 trillion in 2014, 36 per cent of world GDP.
The livestock sector will today formally ask the Commerce Ministry to provide details of the TPP’s potential negative impacts on the sector. The written request will be submitted on behalf of more than 10 associations in the sector, said Surachai Sudhitham, president of the National Swine Raisers Association.
He said the sector feared the high standards and labour and environmental conditions set by the US and Canada under the pact could lead to indirect trade barriers.
“We’d like to reiterate that the livestock sector gives its full support for the government to go ahead with the Asean Plus 6 deal or RCEP [Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership] that could not bring danger to all Thailand’s industries. This is because each member country’s economic factors do not differ much,” he said.

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