British trade group backs preferential tariff on pork
MANILA, Philippines —The British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) on Thursday expressed apprehension about the reported plan of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to suspend the government policy that allows a set volume of pork imports to be subjected to lower tariff rates.
“We are concerned about the Department of Agriculture’s reported plan on the suspension of minimum access volume (MAV) for pork and we support the reported comments of (the) MAV Advisory Council on the impact on domestic supply and existing trade agreements,” the business group said in a statement.
According to the United Kingdom’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the European country exported 628,425 pounds (around P44 million) worth of fresh pork, nearly 9 million pounds (P636 million) worth of frozen pork and 18.68 million pounds (P1.32 billion) worth of pork offal to the Philippines in 2023.
The group also reiterated support for Executive Order No. 50 series of 2023 that extended the continued application of reduced tariff rates on rice, corn and swine meat.
In December last year, BCC executive director Chris Nelson said that having lower import tariffs for meat in the Philippines is a win-win situation for both countries.
The BCCP official said bringing in imported meat products would help the country address food security and rising inflation.
“We are aware that there is a spike in food prices, particularly in pork and beef. And that is because there is a shortage of local supply in the Philippines due to the African swine flu,” Nelson had said back then.
Earlier, policy advocacy group Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) also supported the extension of lowered tariff rates for pork, as well as for rice and corn, citing the benefits to consumers.