The country’s top trade official has reiterated to the United States the request of the Philippines to include garments and shoes in the group of products with reduced or zero tariffs.
In a virtual briefing with trade reporters late Wednesday evening, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said he conveyed to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo during their side meetings the request of the Philippine government to extend the zero-tariff to Philippine-made garments and shoes.
Pascual said he also underscored the importance of the US GSP renewal for the Philippines.
The Philippine government is batting for the reauthorization of the US GSP, which provides zero duty for 3,500 tariff lines.
Around 70 percent of the country’s exports to the US market enter at tariffs through this preferential tariff treatment.
However, it expired on Dec. 31, 2020 and has not yet been reauthorized by the US Congress.
“So far from the (US) executive (side), what (they) are saying to the Secretary is that they are fully supportive of the reauthorization, and we are hopeful that similar in the past, it will be reauthorized despite the lapse of the previous one,” DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said.
Rodolfo said the US Executive Department is also supportive of the provision that the tariffs paid since 2021 will be reimbursed.
Pascual and Rodolfo are part of the delegation of Marcos during his visit to the US, where he had a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden.
The DTI chief said they are meeting at least eight companies in the US hoping to bring in more investments and jobs for the Philippines.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE