Stop palm oil tax, France told

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has condemned the vote in the French National Assembly to impose a discriminatory tax on palm oil from the developing world.

MPOC chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron said the vote ran against all evidence, supporting a protectionism that discriminates against palm oil from developing countries.

“The ‘differential’ tax proposal is a clear violation of both the World Trade Organisation and European Union,” he said in a statement.

The tax was passed in a vote by MPs in the National Assembly, as part of the Biodiversity Bill, after Socialist MPs proposed a new €90 (RM411) per tonne tax on palm oil.

This followed an attempt in January by the French Senate to place a €300 (RM1,371) tax.

Yusof said the €90 tax was both discriminatory and disproportionate as the economic and environmental arguments put forward by the MPs had been clearly shown to be false.

“MPOC calls on French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to stop this tax.

“Ayrault promised Malaysia in 2013 that he would not tax palm oil, he promised to the 300,000 small farmers in Malaysia that France would not harm them with a new tax,” he said. — Bernama

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