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Trump scraps Thailand’s $1.3bn trade preferences

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump suspended $1.3 billion (39.2 billion baht) in trade preferences for Thailand because of its failure “to adequately provide internationally recognised worker rights”, such as protection for freedom of association and collective bargaining.

The suspension, to take effect April 25, will focus on products for which the US is a relatively important market, but where Thailand accounts for a relatively small share of US imports, the US Trade Representative office said in a statement. Eligibility of all Thai seafood products for the so-called Generalized System of Preferences will be revoked due to “longstanding worker rights issues in the seafood and shipping industries,” the statement showed.

“I need more time to assess the impact as we just got the list of affected products,” Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s trade policy and strategy office, said in a text message.

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