ROSALES—Canada is guilty of unfair trade.
This was the stance made by the Swine Development Council (SDC) as it asked Canadian trade authorities to explain the disparity in its pork exports to the Philippines in 2011, a possible indication of technical smuggling.
Engr. Rosendo So, head of the SDC said his group is also wondering why Canada is meddling in the country’s renegotiation for an extension of the quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice.
Based on the United Nations COMTRADE data, So said Canada shipped 29,692,335 kilograms of pork bellies but Philippine import records show that only 13,987,053 kilograms entered the country.
“How does Canada account for the difference of 15,705,282 kilograms of pork bellies?… Is Canada tolerating the technical smuggling of its pork exports to the Philippines?” So said.
There is also a disparity in the offal meat data as UN COMTRADE record shows Canada shipped 3,278,502 kilograms of pork offal but Philippine records show there were only 12,801,883 kilograms.
“It appears that imported pork bellies from Canada are being passed on as pork offal to take advantage of the very low five percent tariff on offal as compared to 40 percent tariff on pork bellies,” So said.
He said the government losses tax revenues in this form of exploitation of the tiered tariff rates on imported pork.
Meanwhile, the Philippines is seeking another extension for quantitative restrictions on rice with the World Trade Organization (WTO) which ended June 30.
So said it is most favorable for the country to trade with ASEAN rice producing countries rather than with Canada or Australia, which are not traditional rice exporters.
“Why is Canada meddling on QR on rice even if it is not a traditional rice exporting country?” So asked.
So said the livestock sector has proposed that the House Committee on Agriculture and Food invites the Canadian trade representative to enlighten the people on the matter.–Eva Visperas