Home » Customs & Trade » RP seeks trade deals with US, EU

THE government is looking at concluding free trade agreements (FTA) with the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) in a bid to open up more markets to Philippine traders.

In particular, the country is studying the possibility of participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) where the US is member as well as Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

With EU, a follow-up to the Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA) agreed upon two years ago is eyed. The PCA is expected to facilitate the drafting on an FTA as it provides the legal basis for cooperation between the two parties.

“We want to penetrate the US and EU markets,” assistant trade secretary Ramon Kabigting said in a recent speech at the 18th Metro Manila Business Conference. “Of course, they’ll also penetrate ours, but a balance is something that we’ll have to achieve.”

He added, “You have to be part of every trade agreement because to be excluded is a disadvantage for you. We’re not yet part of the TPP, but at some point, I think it is our desire to join as well.”

The Philippines currently has FTAs with Japan, the Asean-Australia-New Zealand, the Asean-Korea FTA and the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement.

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