The Philippines is taking its time before pushing for a meeting with US negotiators to continue the discussions over a proposed free trade agreement.
The discussions are still limited to exploratory talks.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Philippine team was aware of the internal processes that the US needed to prioritize despite an open declaration from the US Trade Representative that the Philippines was next in line for the FTA.
“They know our interest is there so we’re making the big push, for now. They know we are here, we’ve been waiting and that we are prepared to start the discussions anytime,” Lopez said.
He added the FTA was the reason why the Philippine was striving hard to conclude the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the US.
The Philippines is not sure if the lukewarm response to Philippine-US FTA is the general mood in the US Congress.
“That’s why we have to leave it up to them (US), their own politics. The USTR will have to deal with that, particularly if they are confident with the Congress,” said Lopez.
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