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International relations

Thailand seeks talks with US over loss of trade privileges

Trump administration unhappy with Bangkok's $19bn trade surplus

A port in Bangkok is crowded with containers. The U.S. says the duty-free trade suspension is due to worker rights violations, but Thai experts believe it is retaliation against the country's ban on certain chemicals, which has excludes U.S. companies from Thailand's market.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Ministry of Commerce made clear its intention on Monday to negotiate with the U.S. on a partial suspension of duty-free trade benefits, while seeking to mitigate its impact by exploring new markets.

"The U.S. has reviewed Thailand's special trade status through its own legal procedures," said Keerati Rushchano, acting director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Commerce. "We will do our best to negotiate before the suspension takes effect in six months."

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