DTI chief hopes better trade growth with US-China pact

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday welcomed the first phase of the trade deal between the United States and China, hoping that this would improve the global trade growth as well as Philippine exports for this year.

Hopefully, there will be a reforecast of improvement with this positive development between US and China, said Lopez, noting the weaker global demand in the past two years due to the trade friction of Washington and Beijing.

Although the Philippines is less affected compared to other countries, the US-China trade war slowed down the country's electronics sector -- accounted for 55 percent of the Philippine exports -- Lopez said.

He said the Philippines has been resilient amid the trade friction of the world's largest economies as exports to gross domestic product ratio of the country is only around 15 percent.

The Philippines also maintained a good relationship with the US while boosting its trade with China, he added.

The part that's really affected is this product that part of the global value chain, Lopez said of electronic products.

Slowdown is there. It was growing 6 percent, now about 3 percent. That part hopefully will improve with this signing that's taking place, he added.

Meanwhile, Lopez said Manila and Washington continue to discuss a possible bilateral trade agreement.

Both governments are undertaking technical discussions, he said.

At a technical level, we continue the discussion and we're also working on that with their some of the agencies in the US. Hopefully this year there's movement, he said.

On Wednesday (Washington DC time), US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the first phase of a trade pact between the two countries, which include the commitment of Beijing to buy more US products while Washington retracted additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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