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Gatchalian hopes for stable PH-US trade relations under Trump presidency

Senator Win Gatchalian speaks with foreign contemporaries at a gathering of international development leaders in Makati City where he was chosen as one of the Development Executives Group (Devex) 40 Under 40 awardees for his accomplishments as city mayor in 2013. (Photo by Devex)

Senator Win Gatchalian expressed hope for the continuation of stable Philippine-American trade relations despite the changing of the guard in the United States after Donald Trump pulled off one of the most shocking upsets in U.S. electoral history to become President-elect on Tuesday, November 8.

“Throughout decades of constant change in the political landscapes of our respective countries, the Philippines and the United States have always maintained close economic ties. I hope President-elect Trump and his government will be willing to continue the cordial trade relationship between our countries in pursuit of mutual growth and development for our respective economies,” said Gatchalian, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.

Gatchalian also reiterated his view that the Duterte administration’s independent foreign policy need not be forged at the expense of strong trade relations with the United States, the Philippines’s third-largest trading partner, as long as the new U.S. administration would be willing to respect and uphold Philippine sovereignty and supremacy in its internal affairs.

Noting Trump’s decades-long track record as a businessman, Gatchalian said he expects economic and foreign trade policy to be priorities during the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

In addition, Gatchalian mused that President Rodrigo Duterte might have met his stylistic match in President-elect Trump, who has drawn comparisons to Duterte due to his strong personality, frank speaking style, and rockstar-like following among constituents.

“I think that the first Duterte-Trump meeting will be one of the most anticipated meetings between two Heads of State in a long time. Who knows, maybe they’ll even become friends,” said Gatchalian.