Duterte elated by Trump’s decision to junk TPP

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday expressed gratitude over the intention of United States President-elect Donald Trump to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade deal on his first day in office.

In his pre-departure speech before going to Cambodia, Duterte said it was good that outgoing US President Barack Obama would no longer push for the passage of the 12-nation TPP after Trump’s victory, because such deal “is intended to help but it is not.”

“It seems that the trade policy of the world [is] convoluted and we do not seem to get a clear view of where we stand with other nations, like on the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It’s good that Obama won’t pursue that policy because that was wrong and it was initiated by the – it’s American idea actually,” the President said.

“I am glad that Trump said that he will throw to the garbage can the TPP. Otherwise, it will create a lot of problems for all of us here in Asia,” he added.

The TPP trade deal, which was signed by 12 countries in 2015 including the US, seeks to deepen economic ties and boost growth by reducing tariffs, among others.

Duterte cited that if the trade deal has been implemented, many poor countries, including the Philippines, will suffer the most because it has to buy expensive medicines from members of the TPP.

"We have a law governing generic so that we can buy cheaper medicines. But if TPP materialized, you can't buy generic [medicines] We are promoting generic because we are a poor nation and we can buy the medicines at cost there in India and in Pakistan," the President said.

"And yet, there is a bumper which says we cannot, if we are member of the TPP, we still have to go the branded ones, the multi-national. It’s very, very expensive. And even [those medicines to cure] diabetes, hypertension and everything that is taken everyday, it would cause a lot of money. And we are in a lot of disadvantage," he said. (Sunnex)
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