Fair trade group renews call for JPEPA renegotiation

Published online in the January 22, 2008 edition of ABS CBN Interactive

The Fair Trade Alliance urged the government anew to renegotiate the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) after Senator Manuel Roxas II has favored its full ratification.

Former senator Wigberto Tañada, lead convenor of the multi-sectoral FairTrade, said the alliance is hoping that Roxas would still change his mind on the controversial deal with Japan.

“FairTrade thought that Sen. Roxas, after several public hearings on JPEPA, was able to see the economic balances in the treaty and the serious constitutional flaws, and that it was inferior to the agreements entered into by Japan with Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand,” Tañada said.

“The Filipino people cannot accept a ‘tablo-talo’ (tie-lose) scenario. What we want is a win-win situation, a mutually beneficial economic partnership,” he added.

Tañada clarified that the group is not against economic partnership with any country, saying it is inevitable under a more globalized economic climate. But he said that the country must be cautious in entering into trade agreements.

The JPEPA, which has been signed by President Arroyo and ratified by the Japanese parliament, will lift all tariffs on about 80 percent of Philippine exports to Japan.

Tañada argued that close to 90 percent of Philippine exports already enjoy a duty-free access to Japan even without JPEPA.

Tañada also warned that the deal will only allow entry of used clothing and second-hand vehicles in the Philippines.

“That is why from the very start the position of the alliance is to renegotiate the treaty because of these inherent economic and constitutional questions. The Senate must correct these patently one-sided contents in JPEPA so that it will effectively benefit Philippine industries and the Filipino people.”

Various parties want the Senate to kill JPEPA because they said it will only create low-paying jobs and allow Japan to dump toxic waste in the country.

Roxas, who heads the Senate committee on trade and commerce that reviews the JPEPA, said the Philippines may end up losing more if it failed to open up to neighboring countries.


    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

  • FairTrade in pictures

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • 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.
  • FairTrade seeks to promote a job-full and progressive Philippine economy through: (1) the promotion of fair trade rules and active agro-industrial policies based on the existing development needs of the nation, (2) the development of a positive agro-industrial culture to foster innovation, hard work and solidarity between and among the productive sectors of Philippine society, and (3) the transformation of an economy debased and stunted by colonial mentality, unequal trade and neo-liberal dogma into a modern, sustainable and broad-based.
  • Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade)
    3/f Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) Headquarters
    #56 Mo. Ignacia cor. Dr. Lascano, Quezon City, The Philippines
    (+632) 372 49 91 to 92 local 30
    (+632) 372 39 24

    FairTradeWeb is powered by Wordpress, MediaMax, MediaFire, Yahoo!, FeedBurner and Flickr.

  • Subscribe in Bloglines

%d bloggers like this: