Following a prohibition on latex gloves in a number of U.S. states, Thai authorities are attempting to increase exports of natural rubber gloves to China and India.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) has formed a task group to handle the restriction on natural rubber gloves in several U.S. states, which would have a detrimental impact on glove makers in Thailand.
Governor Nakorn Tangavirapat of the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) stated that the State of Illinois has already outlawed the use of latex gloves by food service employees, beginning January 1 of this year, due to the risk of allergic responses in some workers and customers. Beginning on January 1, 2019, this regulation will also apply to personnel in the healthcare industry.
The newly constituted task force by the MOAC will aim to promote the quality and safety of natural rubber gloves manufactured in Thailand, while also encouraging their export to other markets, including China and India, where demand remains high.
The United States imports around 738 million U.S. dollars’ worth of general-purpose and medical rubber gloves from Thailand. Thai rubber gloves account for 23% of all rubber gloves shipped to the United States, second only to Malaysia.