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Food & Beverage

Thailand's 'war on sugar' aims to slim people and fatten coffers

New tax hits exports worth some $9m for producers like Pepsi and Coke, says USDA

Thailand's sugar tax is aimed at fighting obesity and encouraging soft drink makers to introduce more low-sugar products

BANGKOK -- Faced with rising obesity rates, as well as health care costs that are ballooning nearly as fast as people's waistlines, the Thai government has introduced an excise tax aimed at nudging beverage makers into making less sugary drinks.

Pricier soda and sweet tea is causing grumbles, and it is not just soda fans who are complaining. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the excise tax affects around $9 million worth of U.S. exports, raising their tax burden by 20-30% for some beverages. The report cites industry forecasts from U.S. companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

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