DTI chief hopes US-China trade war won't worsen
The Philippines has expressed hope that the trade war between the United States and China would not deteriorate as it could affect small players in the long run.
"We hope the trade war won't worsen as nobody wins in a trade war," Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a text message to Manila Shimbun.
A trade war erupted last Friday between US and China when the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion of imports from China.
On the other hand, Beijing retaliated with duties on an equal amount of US products.
As of the moment, Lopez said that the trade war of the two giant economies would hit major countries involved, such as US and China and recently even Canada and other countries with high trade surplus with US.
This was because the tariffs are directed against each other, he said.
"The products that were included in their tariff increases have little or no impact to Philippines like washing machines solar panels steel and aluminum," he said.
But he noted that there is one FIlipino exporter to be affected in solar panels, while for aluminum, the trade representatives of the Philippines have been discussing with US counterparts for exemption since its below "diminimis level."
"For steel, we are a net importer," he said.
Lopez, meanwhile, said he sees opportunities on the US and China trade war.
"There are also opportunities, such as possible transfer of manufacturing activities from affected countries into the Philippines, as we still enjoy GSP (generalised scheme of preference) privileges in US, and China market is made more open for Philippine exporters," Lopez said.
"Nevertheless in the long term, the potential magnitude if it worsens can slow down global economies and can eventually affect even the small players," he stressed. Celerina Monte/DMS