Philippines can withstand Trump uncertainty, finance chief says


Posted at Feb 10 2017 03:13 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign policy rebalance will enable the Philippines to weather the impact of creeping protectionism in the US, the head of his economic team said Friday.

Trade and business process outsourcing may be adversely affected if US President Donald Trump translates his campaign rhetoric into policy, said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

“Fortunately, the Duterte administration, early on, decided to rebalance our foreign policy. All these gains should be more than enough to offset whatever protectionist policies the Trump administration might try to institute,” he said in a televised speech from a business conference in Davao City.

“At any rate, the administration is ready to proceed with the 10-point economic agenda. The economic reforms outlined there should enable government to reduce poverty and escalate growth,” he said.

Duterte has sought closer ties with China while distancing the Philippines from its traditional ally, the US.

With growing investments and ramped up spending on infrastructure, the government can reach its economic growth target of 7 percent this year, Dominguez said.