September 06, 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendations of trade and economic officials to curb the negative effects of the trade dispute between the United States and China, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Duterte “immediately approved” the measures proposed by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday.
“The NEDA and the DTI shared the impact of the US-China Trade Conflict. While the Philippines is not as vulnerable in the trade war, in the long run, any prolonged trade war will have negative effects,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
The recommendations include the passage of the Corporate Income Tax Rationalization Act, amendment to the Foreign Investment Act, intensification of investment campaigns in East Asia, expedition of business process and reduction of processing time in exports.
The effects of the trade war was discussed after China filed this week a complaint against the US before the World Trade Organization as the new tariffs imposed by Washington came into force.
Earlier, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles said while the effect of a trade conflict has been “manageable,” the government intends to use such an opportunity to attract more investments and spur growth in the countryside.
“The keyword here is for us to be able to use it as an advantage, capitalize it as opportunity,” Nograles said. “It has an effect on us but the effect has not been super negative. It has been manageable.”
Even though the US and China were among the country’s major trading partners, he said the country was not very dependent on them “because we have a strong domestic market.”
“In fact, the challenge is now for us to be able [to] capitalize on what is happening by seeking more investments in the country,” Nograles said.
The President expressed hope that the new investments would be made outside Metro Manila.
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