Duterte asks Korea to cut tariff for PH’s agri products
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday asked the Republic of Korea (ROK) to lower the tariff imposed on the Philippines’ agricultural products entering their country, including bananas.
This was brought up during an hour-long bilateral meeting between the two countries held at the Blue House yesterday.
“Responding to the Philippine President’s request, ROK President Moon Jae-In said his government will look into mechanisms to allow lower tariff for Philippine agriculture products,” Piñol said.
“President Moon said the Regional Cooperation on Economic Prosperity (RCEP) could be a possible instrument for the lowering of duties,” he added.
The RCEP is an agreement forged by member-countries of the ASEAN with South Korea.
However, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, however, said that trade facilitation through RCEF is a slow process and instead proposed a Preferential Trade Agreement between the Philippines and South Korea.
South Korea currently imposes a 30 percent tariff on Philippine fruits, especially bananas, while enjoying very low duties for Korean fruits, trucks, cars and farm equipment.
During the meeting, Duterte also sought the facilitation of new Philippine agricultural products like okra and avocado.