Latest reports confirmed that the Philippines is looking forward to taking its bilateral relations with the U.S. a notch higher. With this, it was then claimed that the said Asian country is eyeing to secure a free trade agreement with the country having the largest economy in the world.
According to the Trade Undersecretary of Philippines, a bilateral free trade agreement will probably be the next step between the US and Philippines trade relations. With this, it was even claimed that the Philippines is much interested in enhancing and boosting its market access to the U.S.
For the Philippines, they have no other goal but to strengthen its free trade agreement with the U.S. With this, they have three ways in order to make this happen and these are through the TPP or the Trans-Pacific Partnership or development of the GSP or the General System of Preferences or it could be the FTA. But since U.S. is no longer part of the TPP, Philippines is now looking for the enhancement of the GSP or a bilateral FTA with the U.S.
It can be recalled that the U.S. government just confirmed that its trade policy is geared toward bilateral instead of the regional or multilateral arrangements. With this, the U.S. government will further study and explore the possibility of setting a free trade agreement with the Philippines.
However, Philippine Star reported that in order for the free trade agreement between the Philippines and the U.S. to be realized, some factors are needed to be considered. According to reports, the policy gaps or the alignment of these two countries in terms of their policies, the size of the market, and the economic logic of such agreement should need to be looked into.
Therefore, if the policies of the Philippines will be too different from the policies of the U.S., the negotiation for the free trade agreement will be too difficult. But the Philippines just assured that they have already closed most of the issues like that one on the intellectual property or the IP. This is not an issue anymore for the Philippines since they have been taken-out already from the US Special Watchlist.
With these developments, the Philippines is certain that there can be a negotiated outcome which will be acceptable not only for them but for the U.S. as well. Therefore, no matter how hard it would be later, the Philippines is looking forward to closing a free trade agreement with the U.S.