United States President, Donald Trump, committed to studying the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and the Philippines.
As per the presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, he stated that the US president had promised to look into the FTA proposal during their 40-minute bilateral conference with PH president, Rodrigo Duterte, amidst the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit.
“The Philippines is appreciative of the General System of Preference (GSP) and suggested that a free trade agreement also be concluded between the US and the Philippines,” Roque stated.
Roque added that “President Trump said that they will study the matter.”
As per the presidential spokesperson, the US president gave emphasis on the fact Japanese care are being imported into the country exempted from tariffs while there are charges on cars coming from the US.
“President Trump singled out the issue on tariffs being imposed on US automobiles while these tariffs are not being imposed on Japanese cars,” Roque stated.
Roque also added that “It was observed that the BPO (business processing outsourcing) industry has become very important to the Philippines, and they will probably think of a way to reduce the trade surplus between the Philippines and the United States.”
This is good news because high is the chance that US companies will outsource more of their business processes in the Philippines. It is deemed that the agreement will be beneficial to both parties. However, it is still up for the debate since there are groups that think the agreement is more political than economic.
Lucena City-based outsourcing company, Coefficients Co. Ltd, has been providing services for various American companies for over five years now. The company has built strong bonds with a US tent manufacturing company, major Telco player, a digital marketing company, and some law firms. The company is expecting to close some more deals in years to come.
The Department of Trade and Industry Secretary, Ramon Lopez, stated earlier that it is about time for Washington and Manila to have FTA set in place.
He stated that the US was in talks of having FTAs with South Korea, Japan, and even Vietnam, but not with its long time ally, the Philippines.
“If we are to level up and upgrade our arrangement, what we want to discuss and explore already is an FTA with the US,” stated Lopez.
“We said they’ve been talking to other countries about FTA anyway. They’re talking to Japan, Korea and Vietnam. So, we said the Philippines is their long-time friend and ally,” he said.
It seems that the free trade agreement between the US and Philippines has been long overdue. Only time will tell whether this agreement will come into fruition. For now, Philippines and the US have a strong relationship, politically and economically, and the future is looking good.

Author's Bio: 

Founded in September 2011, Coefficients Co. Ltd. is currently headquarted in Lucena City, Quezon Province, Philippines and is one of the province’s leading business process outsourcing of customer interaction and back-office services