July 21, 2018, 6:49 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0687 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01606 Euro
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.08962 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88982 Gambian Dalasi
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.1468 Hong Kong Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 21.15413 Korean Won
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.31076 Moldovan Leu
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1 Philippine Peso = 6.64048 Mauritania Ougulya
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1 Philippine Peso = 2.04293 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02753 New Zealand Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0692 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.97905 Paraguayan Guarani
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1 Philippine Peso = 1.18 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.95267 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07015 Saudi Arabian Riyal
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.25122 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33483 Sudanese Pound
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.02554 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0143 St Helena Pound
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1 Philippine Peso = 153.38571 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.68088 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 393.68313 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16367 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.633 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24845 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62252 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04952 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04351 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08966 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12587 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57159 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.49906 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49158 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.56977 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58277 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 145.09914 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 2239.05724 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 431.12608 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04265 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04883 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05051 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.90591 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.67265 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24818 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.07258 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.76955 Zimbabwe dollar

PH downplays US-China row; seeks exemptions

The Philippines believes the ongoing trade war between two major economies, the United States and China, will not have a major impact on the country, saying preferential trading arrangements with these countries practically shield it  from any downside risks.

But Ramon Lopez, secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said exemptions are being sought for two specific products to be affected by the US’ move to impose high tariffs: solar panels and steel.

Lopez said the Philippines may  stand to benefit if manufacturers in countries affected by this rift will shift their production base to the Philippines to avoid facing higher tariff rates.

He said the DTI is reviewing the product lists which the Philippines can supply.

Lopez said with the US, the Philippines still currently enjoys the General System of Preference (GSP) privilege, enabling 3,500 product lines to enter the American market at zero duty.

The Philippines is also enhancing trade arrangements with the US under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement  as a step toward a possible bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

The Philippines, as part of Asean, has an FTA with China, with 90 percent of product lines entering the respective markets covered by the agreement at lower or zero duty.

Lopez said China is also showing its seriousness in helping balance its global trade surplus by unilaterally cutting, starting July 1, 2018, its most-favored nation tariffs on footwear, headgear, kitchen supplies, apparel from 15.9 percent to 7.1 percent, cosmetics from 8.4 percent to 2.9 percent, washing machine and refrigerators from 20.5 percent to 8 percent, processed foods such as aquaculture and fishery products, mineral water from 15.2 percent to 6.9 percent.

Lopez is also counting on the goodwill established by President Duterte with Chinese President Xi Jinping which he said continues to open up huge market opportunities for Philippine products to enter the China market.

“The ongoing trade war mainly by two major economies US and China is not seen to have a major impact on the Philippines,” he said, adding that the

US is using three provisions in its trade laws as bases for tariff imposition.

First is Section 301 of the National Trade Act which authorizes the US President to impose tariff or any retaliatory acts against foreign countries that violate trade agreements or engage in unfair trade practices, in this case against China for intellectual property rights related issues.

The US will impose a tariff of 25 percent on $50 billion imports from China. The latter meanwhile is reported to impose retaliatory moves against the US.

“This will have a huge impact on the economies of the two countries, as their higher import costs will affect their respective consumers and imported inputs-using manufacturers. This is the view also of some US legislators. Trade volume between the two countries will decline. This can backfire to the US as costs and competitiveness will affect their industries. This may also lead to moves by affected manufacturers to shift their production activities to other countries like the Philippines,” Lopez said.

Lopez said the other trade move of the US is not country-specific but product specific and will affect not only China but other countries. 

Invoking Section 201 of US Trade Act, the US can impose duties and non-tariff barriers on products that injure or threaten to injure their local industries.

Affected products are solar panels which will be slapped  30 percent on year one ,  down to 15 percent on year four and; washing machines, 20 percent on year one  down to 16 percent on year three).

“For the Philippines, there is no impact for washing machines, but there is an impact for solar panels since there is one major exporter, Sunpower Inc.,” Lopez said. 

He added Sunpower  has submitted position for exemption.

The other trade move of the US, invoking Section 232, authorizes Washington to impose tariff on products to address issues on national security.

Products covered are steel, 25 percent tariff and aluminum, 10 percent.

Lopez said the Philippines is a not a major exporter of steel and aluminum.

He said the Philippines’ trade representatives are meeting with US Trade Representative to also file for exemption because of de minimis levels or below 3 percent of US imports. 

 “On other items covered, we’re not major exporter, and can even benefit with lower prices if products are diverted to other markets like ours. We can look at products that we instead can supply,” Lopez said.

But Lopez hopes the trade issue does not worsen and world trade goes back to globalization mode.

“Nobody wins in a trade war,” he said.
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