Philippines: Invite all SE Asia to Pacific pact
Philippines: Pacific trade pact could cause resentment, should invite all SE Asian nations
Associated Press
2014-04-11 03:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Philippines says a U.S.-backed Pacific free trade pact could cause resentment in Southeast Asia.

Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Thursday all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations should be invited into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even if they can't for now meet the conditions for joining. He said that would demonstrate a clear pathway for entering the pact.

ASEAN is itself striving to reduce trade barriers among its members, but only four of them are in TPP. They are Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Purisima said members like the Philippines would struggle to compete with the other four in the U.S. market after TPP.

But it could take time to finalize the pact as its biggest players, the U.S. and Japan, are struggling to narrow differences.

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