Ebb Hinchliffe, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), told Philippine media late last week that U.S. trade agents would consider waterproofing a free trade agreement with the Philippines ahead of proposed trade deals with the U.K. and Vietnam. U.S. trade data showed that the Philippines is currently the 31st largest trading partner, with total merchandise trade of $21.3 billion starting in 2018. Based on USTR records, merchandise trade between Manila and Washington reached $21.4 billion last year. Shipments to the United States were $12.8 billion, while imports were $8.6 billion. As a result, the Philippines maintained a merchandise surplus of at least $4 billion. Hinchliffe said that from the start of trade negotiations, the signing of the free trade agreement “would not last very long.” The Philippines is currently our 31st largest trading partner for goods, with a total of $21.4 billion (two and twice) in 2019.

Exports of goods amounted to US$8.6 billion; Imports of goods amounted to $12.8 billion. In 2019, the merchandise trade deficit with the Philippines was $4.1 billion. “Biden will look at domestic policy issues in the first few months, if not more,” he said in an email. However, he will not be able to ignore trade, so he will pursue a policy that I hope will come up with something like reintegrating it into the CPTP or another, perhaps a new group, that would be similar. Philippines – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement The Philippines and Japan concluded a free trade agreement in 2008. The VPA is the Philippines` only bilateral free trade agreement covering, among other things, trade in goods, trade in services, investment, personal transport, intellectual property, customs procedures, improving the business environment and public procurement. The Philippines has attempted to negotiate a trade agreement with the United States to lift tariffs on its export interests, such as clothing products. The Philippines sees the United States as a priority market for Wearables as it seeks to revitalize its apparel industry. Finally, it examines the areas in which the free trade agreement is covered and how the Philippines could formulate its negotiating position in order to maximize the benefits of any concessions it may have to make in return.

Business contributions will be essential in this regard, in particular to increase the relevance of the agreement to them. The purpose of the workshop is to enable government and business to better understand the issues at stake in order to generate support from businesses and the general public to move the process forward. “When they start negotiations, it will take a few years. But the U.S.-Philippines trade agreement won`t last long. We are common partners, we know each other very well, we know our needs and we want very well,” he added. In October 2018, Lopez and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that bilateral trade issues between the two countries had been resolved under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).