PH to restudy prospects in Trans-Pacific trade pact

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it will re-explore the country’s prospects and opportunities in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

In a recent virtual media briefing, DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez has instructed them to restudy abd re-explore the CPTPP option.

CPTPP is a trade agreement among 11 countries – Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Mexico, and Peru which are also member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to which the Philippines also belongs, It took effect in December 2018, and is one of the big regional trade agreements.

Since the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been concluded last month, Rodolfo said the DTI will explore the opportunities of joining trade pacts and review existing free trade agreements (FTAs) to boost the country’s trade and investment relation with other economies.

He said Lopez’s policy orientation is to suppor free, open, and fair trade that is expected to create more investment opportunities in the country and jobs for Filipinos.

Rodolfo said the Philippine government has been interested in joining the CPTPP, also known as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Other countries that are eager to join the CPTPP include China, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Colombia, and United Kingdom.

United States had been an original CPTPP signatory but Trump withdrew the US from it shortly after he assumed office in 2017.

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