Asian countries eager to join TPP and expand opportunities
Two months ago the Philippines had begun negotiations to join the second batch of TPP countries. Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo has stated "We want to join the TPP."
The biggest beneficiary of the TPP would be Vietnam because it would have the lowest wage policy compared to the other member nations. Once the Philippines joins, this nation will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this new Common Market.
In agriculture, importation of beef, wheat, corn, seafood, wine and a few dairy products will be duty free. Now there is the opportunity to export our own farm products - bananas, pineapple, coconut, mango, durian - to Japan, Australia, Canada and the USA.
Currently, Japan levies import duties on a total of around 460 vegetable and fruit items. Out of 14 vegetables with relatively high levels of consumption in Japan, 13 will become tariff-free as soon as the TPP pact enters into force. Some of the 13 include carrots, cabbage, spinach and Japanese radish.
Fruit items to go tariff-free immediately in Japan are grape, strawberry, mango, peach, persimmon, melon and kiwi.
The 12 countries currently in the TPP account for 40% of the world economy. The next countries to join are South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines.
For local companies in the Philippines, there will be winners and losers but for the nation as a whole, joining the TPP will mean more jobs, faster economic growth and reduction in poverty. There are still many questions as to how the TPP wil ■