WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is praising the decision by the US Trade Representative (USTR) to suspend $817 million in trade preference for Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which gives duty-free treatment to certain goods entering the United States. 

The government agency noted in its statement that Thailand has made insufficient progress for the United States with “equitable and reasonable market access” for pork products. The decision is effective on Dec. 30, 2020.

In 2018, NPPC filed a petition for the USTR to review and remove Thailand’s eligibility for the GSP program. 

“For years, Thailand has taken full advantage of special US trade benefits, while imposing a completely unjustified de facto ban on US pork. This is hardly a reciprocal trading relationship,” said Howard “AV” Roth, president of the NPPC. “We thank the administration for taking this action and hope it results in fair access to the Thai market for US hog farmers.”

Thailand bans pork produced with ractopamine, which is a feed ingredient that NPPC previously stated promotes leanness in food animals. Ractopamine is prohibited in a number of countries, but the NPPC cited numerous scientific assessments safely approved the ingredient.

The trade group said Thailand does not accept uncooked pork and pork offal from the United States. The country also rarely grants import licenses for US pork.