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Thailand unlikely to join Asia-Pacific trade pact this year

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Thailand unlikely to join Asia-Pacific trade pact this year

 

2020-07-02T045330Z_1_LYNXMPEG6109E_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-THAILAND.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A view of Bangkok city amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, June 21, 2020. Picture taken June 21, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand will take until September to study whether to join a trans-Pacific free trade agreement, potentially missing a window for entry this year amid widespread concern that joining the pact may harm its farm and healthcare sectors.

 

Thailand's commerce ministry has said joining the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would boost the country's economy and offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, while making sectors including electronics and agriculture more competitive against rivals like Vietnam and Malaysia, both CPTPP members.

 

Opposition parties and some civil groups oppose membership, saying tariff-free access to other CPTPP members could lead to a flood of agricultural and pharmaceutical imports and hurt those industries in Thailand.

 

A parliamentary committee will study the costs and benefits of the CPTPP by mid-July. But the committee needs two more months to finish its study, chairman Werakorn Khumprakob told Reuters.

 

The commerce minister will not propose CPTPP membership to the cabinet if people cannot agree on it, the minister's advisor Mallika Boonmeetrakool Mahasook told Reuters.

 

The study committee has said it will be open to public opinions on CPTPP membership.

 

Business groups on commerce, industry and banking have said Thailand should take part in the talks this year, which start on Aug. 5.

 

The CPTPP was originally known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which fell apart when the United States - its main architect - withdrew in early 2017.

 

Member countries, including Japan and Canada, signed the CPTPP deal in 2018 without the United States.

 

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-03
 

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Never let an opportunity go by without losing it.

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Its ok, Thailand will continue to lick Chinas bunghole and rely on them for anything and everything. 

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They will never do it because there would be great losses in corruption money

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