US decries Philippine trade barriers

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MICT-BerthThe US has released a sharply critical report concerning the Philippines’ trade barriers, as well as pervasive corruption and a judiciary system that favours domestic business.

The 2013 report by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) expressed concerns that the Philippines has stalled with completing pest risk analyses for US-grown vegetables, continuing to stymie US farmers from exporting their crops to the Southeast Asian nation.

According to the USTR report, seven years have passed since the US trade agency requested the Philippines to perform pest risk analyses for US-grown broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and celery, and four years since a similar request for US fresh potatoes.

In response, the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) says it had provided its results for the tests to the US in May 2011, but the process is yet to be completed.

The USTR report was released during a continued bid by Washington to get the Philippines to drop its trade barriers.

The report also follows recent visits made by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and Prime Minister Lee Xsien Loong of Singapore to Washington, where both leaders separately met with US President Barack Obama to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership, a strategic free trade zone envisioned to include several nations in ASEAN, and others in north Asian countries and South America.

Additionally, the USTR reported pointed to what it called a long-standing problem of corruption in the Philippines as “one that can place US companies at a disadvantage in the Philippine market.”

The study also concluded that both foreign and domestic investors are put at a disadvantage by Philippine courts and regulations, who tend “to stray beyond matters of legal interpretation into policymaking.”

Transparency in the judiciary system is worrisome to investors, the report stated, and many perceive that Philippine courts are venal and wield their powers to the benefit of entrenched business interests.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The US has released a sharply critical report concerning the Philippines’ trade barriers, as well as pervasive corruption and a judiciary system that favours domestic business.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

MICT-BerthThe US has released a sharply critical report concerning the Philippines’ trade barriers, as well as pervasive corruption and a judiciary system that favours domestic business.

The 2013 report by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) expressed concerns that the Philippines has stalled with completing pest risk analyses for US-grown vegetables, continuing to stymie US farmers from exporting their crops to the Southeast Asian nation.

According to the USTR report, seven years have passed since the US trade agency requested the Philippines to perform pest risk analyses for US-grown broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and celery, and four years since a similar request for US fresh potatoes.

In response, the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) says it had provided its results for the tests to the US in May 2011, but the process is yet to be completed.

The USTR report was released during a continued bid by Washington to get the Philippines to drop its trade barriers.

The report also follows recent visits made by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and Prime Minister Lee Xsien Loong of Singapore to Washington, where both leaders separately met with US President Barack Obama to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership, a strategic free trade zone envisioned to include several nations in ASEAN, and others in north Asian countries and South America.

Additionally, the USTR reported pointed to what it called a long-standing problem of corruption in the Philippines as “one that can place US companies at a disadvantage in the Philippine market.”

The study also concluded that both foreign and domestic investors are put at a disadvantage by Philippine courts and regulations, who tend “to stray beyond matters of legal interpretation into policymaking.”

Transparency in the judiciary system is worrisome to investors, the report stated, and many perceive that Philippine courts are venal and wield their powers to the benefit of entrenched business interests.

 

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