BANGKOK, 3 May 2011 – The US Trade Representative (USTR) Office in the US has announced that Thailand has been put back on the Priority Watch List (PWL) on intellectual property violation, according to Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot.
The deputy minister has admitted that Thailand is still included in the notorious list revised and announced on 30 April 2011, despite all the efforts made by the Thai authorities putting intellectual property suppression as one of the national agendas.
Mr Alongkorn said he personally believed that the US might consider existing data in its criteria and take the opinions of the US private sector, which notably is not satisfied with the performance of the Thai authorities in the piracy sweep mission.
The deputy minister added that Thailand was averse to being included in the PWL since it has been ruining the national image since 2007, and the Thai authorities has been trying hard to take the country off the list.
Mr Alongkorn then voiced his concerns that this issue might affect the decision of the US to grant the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to Thai exports, especially for crops, factory goods, and food products; although it might not have direct impact on the nation’s ranking.