Agriculture Secretary William Dar asked the Japanese government to impose zero tariff on exporting Philippine bananas.
Japan is considered as the top largest importer of Philippine bananas for three decades. However, Japan heavily taxed Philippines in exporting such crop. At present, China outdo Japan’s demand. China bought over 1.1 million metric tons last year.
Further, Philippine bananas prevail in supplying 90 percent of the total requirement of Japan’s market. However, over the years, Ecuador had penetrated Japan.
“I would like to request your support for the preferential tariff rate of zero percent for Philippine bananas in Japan, which currently imposes 18 percent tariff during the winter season and eight percent during the summer,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a bilateral meeting with Japan Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Shinya Fujiki.
“Last June, former agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Japan had softened on long-standing issues on banana tariffs and market access for Philippine agricultural products during President Duterte’s visit,” Philstar reported.
“The Philippines sought for a uniform tariff for Philippine agricultural products of up to eight percent all year round,” report added.
Apart from urging a zero tariff on Philippine bananas, Dar also discussed the request of the Philippines in exporting Hass avocados and the accreditation of Philippines as foot-and-mouth disease-free country.
On the other hand, Japan urged to eliminate tariff on rice and to obtain a market access on Philippine strawberries.
“The Philippines also reaffirmed its commitment to actively engage with China, Japan, and Korea and lauded the three countries in terms of the assistance that they have continuously provided”, report stated.