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NEWS UPDATES 16 October 2009

Philippines seeks preferential tariff for garment exports    

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The Philippines may appeal before Washington to fast track the passage of the proposed Save Our Industries Act (Save Act), which seeks to grant preferential tariffs on the country’s garment exports to the US market, as its contribution in the rebuilding of the damaged domestic infrastructure due to the recent typhoons, according to a report posted on the Manila Bulletin.

Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B Favila told reporters the suggestion to appeal to the emotion of the US authorities came from the local garment and textile industry associations Confederation of Garment Exporters of the Philippines (CONGEP) and Garment Business Association of the Philippines (GBAP).

Passage of the bill is expected in the first half next year but the industry hopes this could be fast track before end of this year.

“The US authorities should be more compassionate in this time of calamities, so we can use this opportunity to push for the passage of the proposed Save Act,” Favila said.

Save Act, also known as the 809 Apparel/Pilot Program with the US filed by Rep. Jim McDermott last June 25 seeks to allow the entry of Philippine-made garments to enter the U.S. market duty-free.

Once the bill is passed, the industry expects additional exports of at least $300 million from the bill. The country averages $1 billion in annual exports of garments. Aside from exports, the bill will open a lot of opportunities for textile manufacturing and foreign investors in the country.

Prospective investors are not only American textile manufacturers but other nationalities who would take advantage of supplying the huge market through the Philippines.

Under the 809 Apparel program, certain Philippine apparel made of US will enter the US duty free. If the garment is made of US yarns, these are allowed to enter US at reduced tariff.


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