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Thai automakers desperate to keep high tariff on imported cars

Region's largest car industry insists 80% duty is necessary to help business recover

Employees work at an assembly line for AutoAlliance Thailand, a Ford and Mazda joint venture plant, located in Rayong province, east of Bangkok.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand's auto industry, the largest in Southeast Asia, worries that a recent proposal to cut import tariffs on cars could set back automakers' recovery from an economic slowdown.

The Federation of Thai Industries is insisting that the cut in import tariff could hurt automakers, adversely affect workers and disrupt the country's drive to become a regional auto hub.

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