Philippine to bank on non-traditional exports in event of trade war
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines intends to capitalize on non-traditional markets to boost its exports sector should the looming trade war between the US and China escalate, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

“We’re banking on non-traditional markets to address the growing concern that many are seeing now, especially the looming trade concerns between US and China, which hopefully will not really blow out of proportion and that it will be tempered,” Lopez said.

Lopez said among the country’s non-traditional export markets which have great potential for Filipino export products are Russia and the Middle East.

Should Australia and Korea also open up their markets for Philippine bananas and pineapples, then the country can also expect to increase trade with these countries, according to the trade chief.

“At the end of the day hopefully no one really moves (between the US and China) and if at all, it will just be limited coverage of products addressing trade remedies. Actions that are only specific and not encompassing set of products,” he said.

“But for us, we are least affected because for example for steel, we are a net importer. We’re not a huge exporter of products under consideration at present,” Lopez added.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on certain Chinese goods as he accused China of intellectual property theft. China, for its part, retaliated by imposing its own set of tariffs on US goods.

Both US and China are among the top trading partners of the Philippines.

The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. earlier said the country has yet to see if there are actual adverse effects of the trade tensions between the US and China, which it noted could disrupt global trade. 

The export group, however, said the electronics sector is concerned about its possible impact.     

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