Canada hit for unfair trade, meddling on QR on rice

July 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

By Brando Cortez

QUEZON CITY-Swine Development Council Director Rosendo So is asking Canadian trade authorities to explain the disparity in its pork exports to the Philippines in 2011 as compared to the pork import records of the country in the same period.

So said local hog raisers also wonder why Canada is meddling in the country’s renegotiation for an extension of the quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice.

He said Canada is guilty of unfair trade.

According to the UN COMTRADE data, So said that Canada shipped 29,692,335 kilograms of pork bellies (HS 203) but Philippine import records show that only 13,987,053 kilograms entered the country.

“How does Canada account for the difference of 15,705,282 kilograms of pork bellies?” So asked. “Is Canada tolerating the technical smuggling of its pork exports to the Philippines?
The data showed that Canada shipped 3,278,502 kilograms of pork offal (HS 20649) but Philippine records show that 12,801,883 kilograms entered the country or a difference of 9,523,381 kilograms.

“It appears that imported pork bellies from Canada are being passed off as pork offal to take advantage of the very low 5% tariff on offal as compared to 40% tariff on pork bellies,” So said. “The government lost tax revenues in this form of exploitation of the tiered tariff rates on imported pork.”
The Philippines is seeking another extension for quantitative restrictions on rice with the World Trade Organization which ended June 30.
So said that the Philippines is very cooperative in fulfilling its commitments with the WTO and the ASEAN Free Trade Area.
So said that it is most favorable for the country to trade with ASEAN rice producing countries than Canada or Australia which are not traditional rice exporters.
“As a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, the Philippines has already committed to tariff on imported rice at 40% in 2014 and 35% in 2015,” So said.
He cited Executive Order 71 signed by President Benigno Aquino on April 16, 2012 where the country through the ASEAN-China Free trade Area has a commitment to China where tariff on imported rice will be 50% starting January 1, 2015.
He also cited Executive Order 627 signed by President Gloria Arroyo in June 15, 2007 where the Philippines lowered its tariff on imported mechanically deboned meat (MDM) of chicken as a concession to the extension of the QR on rice up to June 30,2012.
So said the livestock sector is proposing that Abono Party-list Rep. Robert Raymund Estrella as member of the Committee on Agriculture and Food of the House of Representatives chaired by Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza to invite the Canadian trade representative to enlighten the people on the matter.
“Bakit ba nakikialam ang Canada sa QR on rice kung hindi naman siya traditional na rice exporting country?” So said.
So also said they are proposing that Abono Party-list Rep. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega make representations with Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Isidro Ungab to conduct an inquiry.
He said that Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano should also be invited to shed light about the concessions given by the country to other countries for the WTO to grant the QR on rice extension from 2006 to 2012 and update the people on the present negotiations for another 5-year extension.
“Sino-sino ba sa livestock and poultry sector ang na-consult para 2006-2012 extension ng QR on rice?” So said. “At sino-sino naman ang na-consult para sa present negotiations?”
So said the government has declared that it is seriously taking measures to attain rice self-sufficiency by 2013 as part of its national food staples self sufficiency program.

He said it is more important for the government through increased public investment in the agricultural sector to develop the capacity of the country to produce its own food staples.

Entry filed under: News.

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