Lower tariffs on meat imports pushed | Inquirer Business

Lower tariffs on meat imports pushed

/ 02:09 AM May 24, 2023

MANILA   -Meat importers are pushing for even lower tariffs on meat products shipped in from abroad instead of a return to higher duties, as temporarily lowered levies are set to expire at the end of this year.

The Meat Importers and Traders Association (Mita) is asking the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) for clearer direction this early as the government’s economic managers acknowledge that fighting high inflation remains a major challenge that they need to address.


In a May 22 letter to Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Mita president Sherwin Choi and president emeritus Jesus Cham said a return to a higher duty would further raise the cost of imported pork  and discourage imports.

Instead, the industry group is pushing for an even lower duty of 5 percent across the board for all meat products and edible inner organs.


During previous tariff hearings on the reduction of tariff rates on pork, Mita had advocated for a five-year period of lowered duty.

“We believed that it would take at least that long for the hog industry to recover from African swine fever (ASF), which first appeared in 2019,” the group said.

“[But] the five-year period was premised on the containment of ASF or the discovery of a vaccine, none of which has materialized,” they added.

Mita said that the recovery of the hog industry was clearly not going well and that low duties must prevail over the next five years.

The group said this was especially so as global pork production has dropped and is forecast to continue dropping, while at the same time prices keep going up.

“Our regional neighbors have reduced their tariff on pork meat and approved more countries of origin, even those countries affected with ASF, by applying the guidelines and principles on regionalization of the World Organization on Animal Health,” Mita said. “The Philippines should follow suit and diversify her sources.”

President Marcos issued last December EO No. 10 which extended by one year to Dec. 31, 2023 the lowered import duties on agricultural products, including pork.


Back then, Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of Neda said the extension of reduced tariffs was intended to add to domestic supplies and temper inflationary pressures that arise from supply constraints and geopolitical conflicts abroad, such as Russian’s invasion of Ukraine.

The EO brought tariffs on pork to 15 percent from 30 percent if within import quotas, and to 25 percent from 40 percent if beyond quotas.

Meanwhile, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) objects, saying high tariffs are the local meat producers’ “last refuge…in the absence of comprehensive government support” for them.

“What Mita wants is that they alone should survive,” Sinag executive director Jayson Cainglet said. “They have long wanted to kill the local industry.”


PH has no choice but to import more pork amid ASF woes, say meat processors

Marcos extends lower import duty rates on pork, rice, corn, coal

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TAGS: Business, importers, Meat imports, tariffs
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