The Philippines is looking into the timeliness of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), citing the need to further “analyze” conditions that may or may not benefit the country at this time, President Aquino said on Wednesday.
“We’re still studying whether it will be timely for us to join it at this time,” Mr. Aquino said in a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, when asked about the government’s position on the TPP.
He said that “there are several conditions that we are still analyzing whether or not it will redound to our benefit to engage in it at this point in time” but the President did not elaborate.
A reported impediment to Philippine membership in the TPP is its constitutional restriction on foreign ownership, among others.
The TPP, an Asia-Pacific regional trade group led by the United States, has been touted as “the most credible
pathway to broader Asia-Pacific regional economic integration.”
It seeks to bring down tariff rates to zero by 2015, when the Asean common market will have been put in place.
In her last Philippine visit in November last year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed hope that the Philippines, through the US-Philippines Partnership for Growth, will be in a “better position” to join the TPP.
Mia M. Gonzalez
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