Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can expect a better trade partnership with the United States.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement, echoing US President Donald Trump’s pronouncement during the ASEAN-US dialogue at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
He noted that it was Trump who introduced the topic on trade during the meeting.
“It was all trade from President Trump beginning with the bilateral in the Philippines after the President’s (Duterte) lengthy explanation on the war on drugs. It was President Trump that brought up the issue of trade especially he brought up the issue of their high tariffs imposed on Philippine cars into the Philippines,” the Secretary said.
Roque added that the US President reiterated his stand on fair trade.
“Likewise in the ASEAN-US dialogue the US President reiterating his stand in APEC advocated for fair trade that it is high time, according to him that the US will practice reciprocity they will treat countries as they treat the US,” he said.
“All these statements seem to indicate that the US still considers ASEAN as a very important trading region,” the government official added.
Leaders from 10 ASEAN member countries are in the Philippines for the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits held in Pasay City from Monday to Tuesday. (PNA)