Economic relations are currently regressing between the Philippines and the U.S., as acknowledged by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AMCHAM). An AMCHAM official told the Philippine Star that the Philippines is no longer a priority for the U.S. President Duterte has been openly talking about breaking economic ties with the U.S. and has instead been expanding the partnership with Russia. Earlier, limits on sugar imports were established, protecting the Philippines’ sugar industry and increasing prices on all sweetened products from the U.S. Business Mirror columnist Rene Ofreneo said U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy served as justification for a “Filipino First” reaction. Duterte earlier promised to crack down on BPO firms that hire contractors, and require them to give employee benefits. This would raise human resource costs by 30-40%, making the country a less competitive destination for foreign expansion and investment.
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