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NEWS UPDATES 19 May 2009

Philippines seeks garment deal with US

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The Philippines is seeking a deal with the US government to set up a a programme that would grant sectoral preferential trading arrangement initially for the garments sector, the Manila Bulletin reported.

The paper quoted Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B Favila as saying that the Philippines is looking at this initiative under the Programme 809, which is being pushed for passage in the US Congress.

The so called Programme 809 seeks to provide special trade benefits to products cut and sewn abroad from US. fabric. Essentially, it is intended to encourage the export of bolts of U.S.-made fabric by providing assurances that when the fabric returns in the form of finished goods, it will enjoy either or both lower duty rates and quota-free treatment.

Such a programme would apply regardless of any other preferential programs that are created on a bilateral or regional basis.

“We are hoping that Programme 809 will pass at the US congress although there is still a lot of work to be done,” Favila said.

To push for its passage, the government and the garment sector represented by the Confederation of Garment Exporters of the Philippines have been meeting with the various garment and textile association in the US to enlist their support for the programme.











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