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WTO okays extension of Phl rice quantitative restriction

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The World Trade Organization Committee on Trade in Goods (WTO-CTG) has approved the Philippines’ petition to keep high duties on imported rice, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said yesterday.

In a press briefing, he said the WTO-CTG is set to endorse to the WTO General Council in July its approval for the country’s bid to extend the implementation of the country’s quantitative (QR) restriction on rice.

“Our negotiators have succeeded,” said Alcala. “ This means between now and 2017,we will still have control over rice that will enter the country.”

Upon expiration of the QR in June 2012, the Agriculture department sought a five-year extension of its implementation to buy Filipino farmers time to build their production capability to enable them to cope with increased pressure that comes with the enforcement of free trade within Southeast Asia in 2015.

Alcala said the approval of the special restriction on rice entails increasing the current minimum access volume (MAV) and the continued imposition of a 40-percent tariff on imports made within the MAV and tariff of 50 percent outside of MAV.

In keeping with the ASEAN free trade regime that would be enforced in 2015, all imports that would come from ASEAN member-states would be levied a duty of 35 percent.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA

ALCALA

COUNTRY

GENERAL COUNCIL

MAV

RICE

SOUTHEAST ASIA

TRADE

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE

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