Cabinet gets ready for impact of US-China trade war

Published August 21, 2019, 9:32 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

The impact of the United States-China trade war on the country and the government’s action plan will be part of the agenda of the next Cabinet meeting next month, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (MANILA BULLETIN)
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (MANILA BULLETIN)

Nograles said while the effect of a trade conflict has been “manageable” so far, the government intends to use such an opportunity to attract more investments and spur growth in the countryside.

“The keyword here is for us to be able to use it as an advantage, capitalize it as opportunity. It is one of the topics in the next Cabinet meeting, on the first week of September,” he said during a media forum in Manila.

“It has an effect on us but the effect has not been super negative. It has been manageable,” he added.

He said even though the United States and China are among the country’s major trading partners, the country is not very dependent on them “because we have a strong domestic market.” He also noted that local exports are so far “not affected” by increased tariffs.

“The conflict between the United States and China has not affected as negatively as the other counties including neighboring countries. In fact, the challenge is now for us to be able [to] capitalize on what is happening by seeking more investments in the country,” he said.

He noted that many companies from Taiwan have expressed interest to relocate to the country. He said such prospective investments are expected to generate more jobs to Filipinos and more economic opportunities.

He said President Duterte, however, hopes the new investments such as manufacturing business would be made outside Metro Manila.

“He hopes they will relocate to the other places to spur growth in our regions,” he added.