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Thailand And Brussels Resume Negotiations On The Zero Duty Tuna Thailand, September 20, 13

Negotiations surrounding a free trade agreement on tuna between Thailand and the EU have resumed in Brussels. The Spanish industry has questioned the risk of competition involved in granting this benefit to the world’s leading canned tuna producing nation.

With support from Spanish and Portuguese political institutions, the Spanish tuna industry has urged tuna to be left out of the negotiations, considering it as a “sensitive product”.
The parliament of Galicia, the Spanish region, which is home to many seafood and tuna canneries, unanimously agreed to encourage the regional government to reject the inclusion of tuna products in the trade agreement arrangements.
The Spanish tuna industry has always strongly opposed requests for Thai tuna to enter into a free trade agreement with the EU as it believes it will create a huge threat to the European canned tuna sector. Accusations of child labor, illegal labor and poor working conditions in tuna canneries have in the past been expressed to support such an exclusion.
At the recent Tuna Conference in Vigo, Spain, the Thai tuna industry refused claims that it was trying to monopolize the market for canned tuna in the EU once it would have obtained the zero duty, and stressed that a lowered tariff was needed for the Asian country to deal with competition from other countries such as Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.