Trade rep office urgent, FTA said

THE creation of a Trade Representative Office to strategize and synchronize trade policies and negotiations is urgent, said the multisectoral Fair Trade Alliance (FTA), a broad coalition pushing for trade and economic reforms.

According to FTA, this Trade Representative Office, with multisectoral representation, should be mandated to take the lead in Philippine trade negotiations, review trade policies and trade commitments, and identify countries that discriminate against Philippine goods.

Wigberto E. Tañada, lead convenor of FTA said, “The creation of the Philippine Trade Representative Office should remedy the problem of ad-hocism on trade negotiations and the lack of a clear, cohesive and integrated trade and development strategy.”

In order to insure that the interests of local industry and agriculture are represented in the Trade Representative Office, the proposed Office shall have representatives from these sectors and shall be required to conduct regular consultations and reporting, including the holding of policy workshops with industry and agriculture. The proposed Trade Representative Office should also have oversight powers over the jobs of trade and agricultural attaches posted overseas.

The importance of having a single trade coordination office is made more urgent by the multiplicity of global, regional and bilateral trade negotiations facing the country today.

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  • Founded in 2001, the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) of the Philippines is a broad multisectoral coalition of formal and informal labor, industry, agriculture, NGOs and youth pushing for trade and economic reforms.
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