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Audio: Philippine Leaders Reach Compromise on Pork Import Quota and Tariff Rates

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Last month, in an effort to address a severe pork shortage in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte temporarily reduced tariff rates on imported pork cuts and announced plans for a larger pork import quota. But these plans have been the subject of several Senate hearings and generated considerable pushback from legislators and domestic producers, so Philippine leaders have reached a compromise.

Effective April 7, the tariff rate for in-quota muscle cut imports was reduced from 30% to 5% for three months and to 10% for the nine months to follow. For out-of-quota imports, the 40% rate was reduced to 15% for three months and to 20% for the next nine months. An executive order has now been prepared that will modify each of these rates upward by 5 percentage points.

The minimum access volume (MAV), under which pork imports qualify for in-quota tariff treatment, has been expanded but the increase is not as large as originally proposed. For 2021, the MAV was increased from 54,210 metric tons (mt) to 254,210 mt, rather than the original proposal of 404,210 mt.

Dave Rentoria, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) representative in the Philippines, discusses the compromise in the attached audio report. He says that even with the partial rollback, the improvements in market access will expand opportunities for U.S. pork in the Philippines, noting that first quarter exports grew significantly despite high tariff rates still being in place.

In the first quarter, U.S. pork exports to the Philippines increased 190% from a year ago to more than 25,000 mt, while tripling in value to $62.4 million.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.