THE economic priorities of the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump resonate with those of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a top trade official said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) at an informal gathering of world economic leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
“Trump, viewed by many as someone who talks straight and authentic, gets things done and does what good for his countrymen, were attributes mentioned of President-elect Trump and these sound familiar,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said, indicating the similarities Trump shares with President Duterte.
In one of the early sessions that discussed the outlook for the Trump administration, Lopez observed that the US’ new economic priorities show congruence with President Duterte’s thrust to spur economic growth, “resulting from domestic stimulus due to planned cuts in corporate and personal income tax to encourage reinvestments in research and development [R&D] and innovations, other tax reform measures, public and private investment in infrastructure and increased participation of small and medium enterprises [SMEs].”
“Main concerns are on perceptions that he would go back to a trade protectionist stance. US leaders believe it is not protectionism per se, but leveling the playing field and adopting fair and market-based trade,” Lopez said in a statement.
Lopez pointed out that WEF participants who know Trump believe that the US will not go to the path of anti-globalization, but will aim to level the playing field by countering undue trade practices.
The new US administration, he said, will place emphasis on trade enforcement as opposed to negotiating new trade agreements.
The US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and would like to review the progress and effectiveness of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“The US cannot simply cut itself off from the rest of the world as this will hurt not only its trading partners around the world but also the US itself, since world economies are so integrated,” Lopez said.
“Participants believe that it is not a zero sum game. Policies cannot be one-sided only because it impacts the whole world,” he said, adding: “We have an interconnected and integrated world economy.”