Manila has appealed again to Tokyo to cut its tariff on Philippine bananas to zero percent. Its government former seeks to maintain its market share in the heavily contested Japanese market for the yellow fruit. The request was conveyed by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar to Japan’s Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Shinya Fujiki during a bilateral meeting last October 16.
“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 8 percent during the summer,” Dar said.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Japan is one of the countries where Philippine bananas are heavily taxed. In fact, Japan used to be the largest importer of Philippine bananas until China took the spot in 2018.
From January to July, the Philippines exported 788,000 tons of cavendish bananas to Japan, which was 54.27 percent higher than the 510,800 tons shipped in the same period of last year, Philippine Statistics Authority data showed.