FairTrade bats renegotiation for JPEPA

Published in the November 14, 2007 web edition of Positive News Media

The multisectoral Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) strongly urges the Senate to inexorably decide for the interest of the nation by concluding to renegotiate Japan Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), as this is the only viable solution to cure the inherent imbalances of this treaty and become acceptable to Filipinos.

This, as the Senate goes on with final stage of consultation hearings with government negotiators, domestic industrial and agricultural producers and the civil society groups.

“There is no way to go but to renegotiate JPEPA. This is the option that the Fair Trade Alliance is laying on the Senate table because the past six hearings the government negotiators were not able to justify the merits of JPEPA,” Tañada said.

“This is because JPEPA has many loopholes and we have heard that in the six hearings. One of them is that it runs counter with the Philippine Constitution. If we want to trade with Japan, we should trade in a fair and respectable manner, which respects the limitations of the Constitution,” he said.

Justice Feliciano, an expert on international trade, is strongly doubtful that JPEPA will pass the test of the Constitution.

He had submitted his expert opinion to the Senate and summarized the unconstitutionalties of JPEPA and the need for it to be renegotiated, if the country does not want to be hauled into international courts for violations of the Philippines to the treaty.

On the other hand, business groups said JPEPA will expand and open new markets for Filipino manufacturing exports, especially garments, electronics, auto and auto parts and furniture. (PNA)

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