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‘Take the high road’: Duterte urges US, China to end trade war

/ 09:11 AM June 23, 2019

BANGKOK — President Rodrigo Duterte said the United States and China must “take the high road” and end their trade war that he said was affecting global growth and possibly delaying economic integration.

At the same time, Mr. Duterte pushed for smoother trade between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to address the possible fallout from the bickering of the two superpowers.

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Speaking at the Asean’s plenary session on Saturday evening, Mr. Duterte said the trade war between the US and China was “creating uncertainty.”

“It is taking a toll on global growth. And it could hinder the ongoing process of economic integration,” he said.

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“The US and China must both take the high road resolve their differences before the situation spirals out of control. And we in Asean must strengthen our support for a rules-based and open multilateral trading system,” he added.

When it comes to economic growth, nations must be partners and not competitors, he said.

“The Philippines therefore supports the Asean Single Window— a concrete initiative towards a seamless cross-border trade,” he said.

Asean economic ministers are working to conclude negotiations for the China-led Regional Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of the year.

The completion of the RCEP is being fast-tracked to help Asean members and their partners cope with the trade war between the US and China, Trade Secretary Ramon del Rosario said Friday.

“It’s precisely the reality right now that’s happening, because of this trade tension between US and China, that compel the Asean countries as well as the RCEP participating countries to really fast-track the RCEP,” Lopez said.

“So that at least in this part of the world, we will have this regional free trade agreement that can still improve the trading within the region and somehow be partially insulated from the impact of what’s going on between US and China,” he added. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)

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TAGS: ASEAN, China, Duterte, trade war, US
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