However, since President Trump took office, the United States has shifted its trade policy from multilateral and regional trade agreements to bilateral trade agreements. In short, the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, and imposed retaliatory duties on a large number of goods to impose concessions on their unfair trade practices. It blocked the appointment of members of the WTO appeal body, which ultimately led to the suspension of the WTO`s dispute settlement system. China`s massive trade surplus with the United States has made it the main concern of this “fair and reciprocal bilateral trade policy.” The U.S.-China trade dispute is intensifying and affecting global economic growth. Based on USTR archives, merchandise trade between Manila and Washington reached $21.4 billion last year. Shipments to the United States were $12.8 billion, while imports were $8.6 billion. As a result, the Philippines maintained a merchandise surplus of at least $4 billion. U.S. trade data showed that the Philippines is currently the 31st largest trading partner, with total merchandise trade of $21.3 billion starting in 2018. The Philippines is currently our 31st largest trading partner for goods, with a total of $21.4 billion (two and twice) in 2019. Exports of goods amounted to US$8.6 billion; Imports of goods amounted to $12.8 billion. In 2019, the merchandise trade deficit with the Philippines was $4.1 billion.

The idea of a free trade agreement between the Philippines and the United States has been debated since the end of the preferential trade status of the Philippines in the United States, as part of the transitional arrangements between colonial rule and total independence. These discussions have never gained strength, not least because the Philippines has taken a cautious approach to a free trade agreement and has never negotiated a Saa outside the ASEAN framework. He was pleased to use the Generalized Preference System (USPG), which provided duty-free treatment for approximately 5,000 inch lines with minimum reciprocal concessions. The United States, on the other hand, has been more inclined to pursue its trade objectives through the WTO and in regional trade agreements. In February, six Democratic senators called on the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to suspend the Philippine GSP because of President Duterte`s human rights record. They said that the granting of commercial privilege could be confused in the face of extrajudicial executions under Duterte, if bloodshed is tolerated. On the other hand, Washington is exploring the prospect of a trade agreement with Manila for its motor vehicle exports. It called on the Philippines to reduce the rates of finished cars and motorcycles, in particular the 30 per cent for passenger cars, the 20 to 30 per cent for vehicles for the transport of goods and the 15 to 20 per cent for passenger transport vehicles. AmCham said he would continue to insist on Washington`s free trade agreement with the Philippines because he strongly believes in the great benefit of the trade deal. Ebb Hinchliffe, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), told Philippine media late last week that U.S. trade agents would consider waterproofing a free trade agreement with the Philippines ahead of proposed trade deals with the U.K.

and Vietnam. It is time to start a public discussion on the feasibility of such an agreement, its benefits and the reciprocal commitments demanded by the Philippines. The economy, in particular, has not been as involved in the process so far. They will be the main beneficiary, but it may also require them to make some adjustments to cope with increasing competition, as the United States tries to soften what it sees as a restrictive