Aquino, Obama eye PH inclusion in TPP
President Benigno Aquino III is actively pushing for the inclusion of the Philippines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
During a press briefing at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), Aquino said he “conveyed the keen interest of the Philippines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” during his bilateral meeting with United States President Barack Obama.
“We hope that the United States, as one of our most important economic partners, can assist us in the process,” he added.
The TPP is a trade agreement among 12 countries in the Pacific — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
While the business sector is looking forward to the Philippines’ participation in the partnership, some have pointed out that the Philippine Constitution imposes limitations that may go against the TPP.
Obama said the TPP is “a pillar of America’s rebalance in the region.”
The US is the lead negotiator for the TPP.
“We welcome the Philippines’ interest in TPP and we have directed our Trade Ministers to have discussions about how TPP is going to be implemented among the original 12 countries and how we can work with the Philippines to follow through on their interest,” Obama said. “TPP is designed to be an open and inclusive trade pact for countries that can meet its high standards.”
The TPP reportedly involves the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers, development of production and supply chains, promotion of innovation and competitiveness, regional economic integration, and inclusive trade. CDG
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