PHL is a beneficiary of U.S.-China tariff war: trade official

Special Trade Representative to the U.S. Nicanor Bautista with Tourism Attaché Susan del Mundo. The FilAm photos

Special Trade Representative to the U.S. Nicanor Bautista with Tourism Attaché Susan del Mundo. The FilAm photos

By Cristina DC Pastor

The Philippines is seen to benefit from the ongoing tariff dispute between the U.S. and China, according to Manila’s trade official in New York.

Special Trade Representative to the U.S. Nicanor Bautista said some American companies in China have leased offices in the Philippines or exploring transfers in light of the ongoing dispute. The Trump Administration is demanding reforms from Beijing in the areas of, among many issues, intellectual property, market access, and currency reforms.

“U.S. companies are leaving China and seeking to relocate their manufacturing facilities from China to Manila,” he said in a February 9 presentation before a General Assembly of the Filipino community held at the Philippine Consulate’s Kalayaan Hall. He added that some of the new investors are Fortune 100 corporations.

Bautista further reported on gains made by his office in attracting new investment for the year 2018. He said some $1.6 billion in new investments, expected to provide 24,000 jobs, have been generated. Some of the deals have been completed, while others are in varying stages of negotiations.

Among the companies that are looking to do business in the Philippines is one that manufactures rifle bags for the NRA. The company is eyeing production of 250,000 bags a month, he said.

Another company is the Chicago-based Cedar Electronics which develops consumer electronics, such as dash cameras, power banks, and radios. Other companies looking to open factories or warehouses in the Philippines are the developers of fabricated metal products, canvas beach chairs, luxury items, and makers of food products like coconut water.

Tourism Attaché to New York Susan del Mundo

Tourism Attaché to New York Susan del Mundo

Jaguar Land Rover is working on a $50-million facility to create about 200 jobs, he added. So are Hanjin Industries of Korea and a Michigan company looking to make auto parts in the Philippines. Bautista said these ventures will make the country an “attractive destination” for manufacturing and supplies.

He thanked Filipino Americans in New York for “giving us leads, opening some doors, and lending their voices” that allowed new investors to take notice of the Philippines as a location for growing their businesses.

Another official, Tourism Attaché Susan del Mundo, announced how the Philippines has consistently been voted Top 3 island destinations by Conde Nast readers. She said “subway advertising” in NYC for three months has helped create awareness for the ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign

She noted how the long-running program called Ambassadors Tour has been given a new name this year: Very Important Pinoy tour. The program covers the period July 14 to July 21. Participants will get to visit Manila, Bataan, Clark, and El Nido in Palawan during their stay. Lunch at the Malacanang presidential palace is the program’s highlight.

The Philippines, she stressed, remains a favorite romantic destination for weddings and honeymoons.

© The FilAm 2019

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