(CTN News) – In an effort to revive their trade relations following a four-year standstill due to the pandemic, Thailand is actively engaged in discussions with the United States to reinstate the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
The GSP program, which concluded in 2020, holds significant benefits for Thai exporters and US importers while also fostering international trade.
Meeting Highlights and the Path Forward
A recent meeting between Thai officials and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington, chaired by Deputy USTR Sarah Bianchi, provided a golden opportunity to rejuvenate trade ties.
During this meeting, it was revealed that the US is in the process of proposing legislation to reintroduce the GSP program.
However, this revival may come with potential modifications or inclusions related to labor protection, environmental standards, human rights, legal principles, and anti-corruption measures, reflecting the Biden administration’s emphasis on these aspects in global trade.
Progress in Intellectual Property (IP) Protection
Thailand has also urged the US to reconsider its inclusion on the intellectual property (IP) assets watch list. Thailand claims significant strides in IP protection over the past year, with plans to further bolster these efforts in the coming two years. The US has acknowledged Thailand’s positive advancements in this area.
Addressing Challenges of Mislabeling and Evasion
During the meeting, both parties deliberated on enhancing cooperation to tackle the issue of third countries falsely claiming the origin of goods from Thailand.
This practice aims to circumvent US anti-evasion measures, including anti-dumping duties and labor protection standards. Thailand and the US are committed to sharing experiences and working together to address this concern.
Trade Statistics and Outlook
According to data from the Commerce Ministry, trade between Thailand and the US in the first seven months of this year amounted to US$38.7 billion, showing a year-on-year increase of 1.6%. Exports accounted for US$26.9 billion, while imports were valued at US$11.8 billion.
Key exports included computers and computer parts, rubber products, and telecommunications equipment, while primary imports consisted of crude oil, machinery and components, and chemicals.
In summary, Thailand’s proactive efforts to reinstate the GSP program and improve IP protection, coupled with the US’s recognition of these advancements, signal a positive trajectory for their trade relations.
Collaboration to combat mislabeling and evasion tactics adds another dimension to their growing partnership, while trade statistics reflect the resilience of this economic connection.