January 13, 2004
Thailand Food Groups To Boycott US Soy Imports
Nine Thai food groups will boycott soybeans and soy waste imports from the United States, in retaliation against the imposition of higher tariffs on Thai prawns.
The nine Thai food groups are the soy and rice bran oil manufacturers' association, the Thai prawn association, the Thai seafood manufacturers' association, the Thai frozen food association, the Thai sea prawn raisers' association, the association of chicken raisers for export, the Thai animal feed association, Thai ready-to-eat food manufacturers' association and the animal feed users' association.
Setthasan Setthakaroon, chairman of the soy and rice bran oil manufacturers' association, said his group and eight others would stop importing soybeans and soy waste in protest if the US Commerce Ministry decided on Feb 17 to take action against Thailand on prawn dumping charges.
An alliance of US southern prawn raisers had asked the ministry to increase tariffs on Thai prawns even though other major prawn exporters such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico were selling prawns at similar prices.
About half the three million tonnes of soybeans and soy waste imported by Thailand each year come from the US. Mr Setthasan said some businesses could not stop importing soybeans and soy waste from the US until their contracts expired.