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DTI hopes PH can keep European Union trade perks

By: January 14,2018 - 10:32 PM

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) hopes to keep its preferential trade arrangement with the European Union (EU), expecting the bloc would to look past the “political noise” under the Duterte administration, a top official said.

Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo told reporters that the Philippine government was expecting a balanced assessment from the European Commission, which will release its monitoring report this month.

The monitoring report concerns the country’s GSP+ status, which stands for the Generalized System of Preference Plus. For the past three years, this has allowed the Philippines to export more than 6,000 products to the European Union at zero tariff.

The perk, however, is based on the condition that the beneficiary state would stick to certain international conventions, including one concerning human rights —the latter being a constant concern raised by critics of President Duterte.

The European Commission will release the report, but it will be up to the European Parliament —a political body — to decide whether or not it would keep the Philippines’ GSP+ status.

For the government’s part, Rodolfo said they have actively engaged the commission in light of the monitoring requirements.

“So at the end of the day, we are expecting a balanced report that is based on facts rather than on political noise,” he said.

Concerns that plague the Duterte administration mainly revolve around the bloody drug war as well as moves to bring back the death penalty and lower the criminal age of responsibility. Various international officials have voiced their concerns regarding these issues.

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TAGS: DTI, European, hopes, Keep, Perks, ph, trade, union

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