Marcos pushes free trade deal with EU

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Thursday called for the resumption of free trade talks between the Philippines and European Union.

“A bilateral free trade agreement will be a win-win strategy for both the Philippines and the EU,” he told a gala dinner of the EU-ASEAN Business Council and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines in Makati City.

Mr. Marcos also sought the renewal of Philippine privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme, which entitles it to zero tariffs on more than 6,000 products.

He said a Philippine-EU free trade deal would allow the parties to meet mutually beneficial economic goals “while maintaining consistency with the EU’s core ideals of sustainable development and environment protection.”

“I take this opportunity to call upon our friends from the EU-ABC and ECCP to proactively advocate for the resumption of negotiations for this purpose, as well as to strive for fair treatment and more beneficial reciprocity,” he said.

Mr. Marcos, 65, said the Philippines has been pursuing a shift to renewable energy from traditional fossil fuels, which should “guarantee our continued participation in the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza