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Business

TC sets public hearing on motor parts imports from Thailand

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Tariff Commission (TC) will hold a public hearing later this month on the additional list of motor vehicle parts from Thailand that may be covered by the suspension of tariff concessions and subjected to higher duties.

In a notice, TC said the public hearing would be conducted online on Aug. 24.

The proposed additional list of products for suspension of concessions include hoses, floor mats, leaf springs, air-conditioning machines, sound signaling equipment, wire harnesses, safety seat belts, and tachometers.

Last January, the TC already conducted a public consultation on the products from Thailand that may be imposed with higher duties which include motor vehicles, corn, milled rice, soya bean oil, mixed condiments, and materials for plastic goods.

The Philippines requested in February last year to be given authorization by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to suspend concessions on products being brought into the country from Thailand.

This, as Thailand has yet to comply with the WTO ruling which favored the Philippines on a cigarette tax case.

The Philippines filed a complaint against Thailand before the WTO in 2008 over concerns about the latter’s unfair taxes on imported cigarettes.

While the Philippines won the case and all appeals filed by Thailand, the latter has not complied with the WTO decision.

Even as the country has requested to suspend tariff concessions on Thai exports, the Philippines earlier agreed to pursue facilitator-assisted discussions with Thailand to resolve issues on the cigarette tax case.

Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said earlier the Philippine government wants Thailand to understand that the process for the suspension of concessions could be triggered at any time.

Vehicle assemblers, motorcycle manufacturers and the local plastics industry, however, have all expressed opposition to the suspension of preferential tariffs on imports from Thailand as such would hurt local firms and consumers.

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