Trade Issues in the Philippines

In 2018, U.S. and Philippine officials issued a joint statement noting that the two countries have made progress on several trade issues under the U.S.-Philippines Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, including items of specific interest to the U.S. red meat industry:

The countries intend to collaborate on the development of cold chain requirements and best practices in the Philippines, taking into account international guidelines and codes of practice regarding food hygiene adopted by Codex.

The Philippines will step up efforts to ensure WTO-consistent valuation of agricultural imports for duty collection purposes, including the enforcement of laws, regulations and policies prohibiting the use of reference pricing.

The statement also highlights the Philippines’ commitment to expeditious consideration of petitions for the extension of tariff rates, and a commitment to further discuss ways to ensure that Philippine policies on geographical indications do not restrict or prohibit entry of U.S. products.

UPDATE: No official changes in market access have taken place in 2019 in the Philippines, but USMEF is closely monitoring a developing situation that began to unfold in mid-April. Philippine officials are under intense pressure from domestic producers to restrict pork and poultry imports, and on April 22, 2019, then-Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol (who has since resigned) issued a statement indicating that the government will monitor pork and poultry production levels and that the data collected will be used to advise producers. Piñol added that meat traders will be “expected to ‘temper’ their importation so as not to cause a glut in the market” without providing further details. USMEF remains in frequent contact with FAS-Manila on this matter and will provide further updates as more information becomes available.