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Philippines

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On May 12, 2020, the Philippines component of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered into force. The FTA and IA entered into force between Hong Kong and Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in 2019. According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), under the FTA, the Philippines will progressively eliminate and reduce customs duties on goods…

On October 25, 2019, USTR announced that President Trump is suspending $1.3 billion in trade preferences for Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) based on its failure to adequately provide internationally-recognized worker rights. In addition, the President is restoring some GSP benefits for Ukraine following its passage of legislation aimed at addressing shortcomings in its intellectual property (IP) regime. USTR also announced it is opening new GSP eligibility reviews for two countries:  South…

On September 1, 2018, the Canada Gazette published a notice from Global Affairs Canada stating that the Government of Canada is committed to fostering and strengthening Canada’s economic ties with its Asia-Pacific partners, including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam] and is seeking the views of interested Canadian stakeholders on the scope of potential negotiations toward a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN. Expanding and diversifying Canada’s trade with large, emerging markets such as ASEAN is a priority for the Government of Canada and contributes to Canada’s trade diversification strategy. The Government of Canada’s approach is one that puts the interests of Canadians and opportunities for the middle class, women, youth and Indigenous people front and centre.

As the trade conflict between the United States and China continues, three free trade agreements are pressing ahead, including– the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), soon to enter into force, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA), recently signed and which represents 30% of global economic output, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement that includes both India and China and comprises the largest trading block in the region.

On April 26, 2018, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS #18-000307 GSP Goods Subject to Section 201 Measures, which provides additional Information with respect to articles of Thailand or Philippines, which are covered by Section 201 safeguard remedies (certain solar cells, solar panels, washing machines, and washing machine parts). According to the CSMS:

On July 14, 2017, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice providing country-by-country allocations of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 (October 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018) in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quotas for imported raw cane sugar, certain sugars, syrups and molasses (also known as refined sugar), specialty sugar, and sugar-containing products.

On 27 October 2016, the WTO announced that the Philippines has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), becoming the 95th member of the WTO to do so. The Philippines’ instrument of acceptance was submitted to the WTO on 27 October 2016. The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement.  The Philippines’ acceptance means over 86 per cent of the ratifications needed for entry into force have…