US not banning import of goods from Thailand: Commerce Ministry

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Thailand’s Commerce Ministry has affirmed that the US has not banned the import of goods from Thailand after the US State Department’s downgrading of Thailand to Tier 3 in its 2014 “Trafficking in Persons” report.

Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Boonyarit Kalayanamit said that rumors of the ban has caused worries among Thai exporters to the US.

In this case, the US could consider cancelling assistance unrelated to humanitarian aid, or trade such as financial aid for educational and cultural exchange, or assistance from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, the spokesman said.

Thailand will send a letter to the US State Department to clarify the facts on its alleged human trafficking problems.

It will set up a travelling team to explain the issue to US bodies such as the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) as well as the European Union to build confidence among the importers of Thai goods on Thailand’s clean supply chain, free of child and forced labor.

Major trade partners including Costco, Wal-Mart and Tesco have been invited to visit Thailand to observe use of labor in Thai industrial production in accordance with international standards.