Trade restrictions with China feared
President Duterte is planning to ask United States President Donald Trump not to apply an anti-China clause in a possible free trade agreement with the Philippines.
The President has expressed concern about reports that US trade deals with countries might include a provision prohibiting trade with China, saying such condition would limit the growth of the Philippines' trading market.
"Now, here is a problem. I do not know if it is a confirmed move by the American government. President Trump would be willing to sign a trade pact with you... Now, kung pipirma ka niyan, you can export and import will continue but you cannot trade with China. Sige daw. Try to solve the problem," he said during a press conference in Davao City early Friday morning.
" Trump is my friend. When we see each other, I'll him, 'Donald, please don't do it. The Philippines, see, we have limited market suddenly," he said.
China is currently the country's biggest trading partner. The United States, on the other hand, has been a longtime economic and defense ally of the Philippines.