National Pork Producers Council applauded the recent recommendation of an advisory committee to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to extend through the end of the year the country’s reduced tariff rates on pork imports but also urged Manilla to reinstate its higher import quota. The cabinet-level Committee on Tariff and Related Matters approved extending the current 15% duty on imported pork within the country’s quota, known as the minimum access volume (MAV), and the 25% rate for imports above the MAV.
Last May, the Philippines reduced the tariffs to those rates from, respectively, 30% and 40%. Without an extension, the current tariff rates will revert to the old rates May 17. Also in May 2021, the country increased the MAV, raising the quota to 254,210 metric tons (MT) from just 54,210 MT in 2020. That expired Jan. 31. Under the lower tariffs and higher quota, U.S. pork exports to the Philippines increased by nearly 79% in 2021, topping $204 million compared with $114.5 million in 2020. But with the expiration of the higher MAV, pork exports have dropped dramatically in the first two months of 2022, with the U.S. industry sending just $13 million compared with $28 million for the same period last year. NPPC worked with Philippines pork interests, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA to get increased market access to the Pacific island nation. In addition to asking for the higher MAV to be restored, NPPC also is urging the Philippines to make the MAV and the lower tariffs permanent.