Philippine Pork Market to Remain Open

Government backs off threat of denying import licenses.

The Philippine government has indicated it will maintain current rules for the administration of its tariff rate quota for pork. This move preserves United States access to a fast-growing market for U.S. pork exports. Last year, U.S. pork sales to the Philippines surged by 360% to 25,300 metric tons and were valued at $46 million.

The Philippine government had threatened to severely restrict pork imports by denying to legitimate Philippine importers the licenses they need to import pork within the country's pork quota system. In response, the National Pork Producers Council filed a petition with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in December 2008, requesting removal of the Philippines from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences. NPPC believed the Philippine action would have violated WTO rules and a 1999 Memorandum of Understanding between the U. S. and the Philippines.

GSP is a program designed to provide developing countries such as the Philippines with preferential duty access to the U.S. market. In 2007, the Philippines exported $1.1 billion worth of products to the United States under the GSP program.

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