NGO hits trade official, proposes conditionalities on JPEPA

The multisectoral Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) hits Ambassador Manuel Teehankee when he revealed that he’s “guessing too much” on the projected gains that the country will be getting on the JPEPA during a Senate hearing presided by Sen. Mar Roxas on Friday.

Teehankee, the Philippines’ permanent representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) told the Senate that he’s sorry for guessing too much when the Senate told him that his rosy projections the Philippines will be getting on the onset on JPEPA is not viable.

Teehankee’s statement made his fellow government officials, the Senate, civil society and other onlookers during the Senate hearing react in awe.

Labor leader and FairTrade convenor Dave Diwa said, “Based on the Ambassador’s statement, instead of relying on viable facts, data and researches what the government is telling the Senate out of all these hearings are guesses. “

“No wonder that the executive branch cannot directly cite the benefits of JPEPA. Because they are having a hard time guessing it. Is it because the researches and data on JPEPA do not provide the rosy projections they want the Senate to know, that instead of revealing the truth, they fabricate some gains out of thin air? This is impossible,” he outraged.

On the other hand, FairTrade submitted to the Senate a proposed reservations and conditions in relation to trade in goods under JPEPA made by key sectors affected by the agreement.

FairTrade’s proposal clarifies the inequities in the trade in goods in the JPEPA and outlines the needed remedies by way of trade reservations.

In the automotive sector, FairTrade proposes the inclusion on the enforcement of EO 156 or ban on used-vehicles; inclusion of a diplomatic note on automotive as part and parcel of the JPEPA agreement; inclusion of Article 27 as measures for current and future reservation and Tariff reciprocity with exporting countries i.e. Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

  1. I don’t think the senate should have anything to do with trade agreements.

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