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Frustrated Thai Shrimp Farmers Ready to Storm Bangkok

Thai shrimp farmers are frustrated by a lack of response by their government to their pleas for action against U.S. trade actions

March 29, 2006

Frustrated Thai Shrimp Farmers Ready to Storm Bangkok

 

Thai shrimp farmers are frustrated by a lack of response by their government to their pleas for action against U.S. trade actions

 

Mr. Ekapoj Yodpinij, president of Surattani Shrimp Club who had urged the Ministry of Commerce to promptly file suit with the World Trade Organization against the US on double taxation of Thai shrimp, disclosed that representatives of various shrimp clubs had submitted an open letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Dr. Somkid Chatusripitak on February 24, 2006.  The letter, received by Mr. Preecha Laohapongchana, had asked the government to file suit against the US within 30 days. 

 

“It’s been more than 30 days since we submitted the letter to the Ministry of Commerce to file suit with WTO against the U.S. for breaking the rules on double taxation.  To date we have not been contacted by any of the government agencies concerned.  We are very disappointed with their work.  Everyone is being paid by taxpayers’ money and should not be sitting idly, claiming political instability. 

 

“The problem of market and people’s livelihood must move forward.  If this unfair issue is not quickly resolved, the future of Thai shrimp industry is in jeopardy as most exporters will go bankrupt and have no money to buy shrimp from farmers.  This is because they would need to use their limited credit to post continuous bond which is never ending and has no set date as to when they can get the money back.  Only a few exporters will survive. Ultimately, the problem will fall upon shrimp farmers and the  million households in related businesses. 

 

“We urge the government, particularly the Ministry of Commerce, to file suit with WTO within three days as we have already wasted too much time.  Otherwise shrimp farmers from all over the country will travel to the Ministry to seek justice and join in the protest against US-Thai FTA,” Mr. Ekapoj said.

 

Prices of white shrimp on March 29, 2006:  size 50 pcs/kg, 60 pcs/kg, 70 pcs/kg, and 80 pcs/kg are Bht 160/kg, Bht 140/kg, Bht130/kg  and Bht120/kg respectively.

Shrimp export for the first two months of 2006 (January and February) as reported by Department of Customs is 38,759 tons with value of Bht10,051 million.

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