US trade missions, BPO plans cancelled

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The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines revealed that scheduled trade missions from the United States and business process outsourcing (BPO) investment plans have been cancelled.

The cancellation of both the US businessmen’s trade missions to the Philippines and the entry of more US BPOs stemmed from the political tirades of President Rodrigo Duterte against its long-time ally.

US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for East Asia, recently urged “a respectful way to communicate” describing Duterte’s anti-US tirades as “hurtful and mystifying.”

“It is hurtful and mystifying to be called names by a close friend, to be called names by the leader of a wonderful democracy that we respect and with whom we have shared so much history and culture,” said Russel.

“The responsibility on both sides is to find a respectful way to communicate, to work forward in the best interests of our people, the best interests of the region, and the best interests of the world.”

John Forbes, senior advisor of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines said the scheduled American trade missions and US BPO plans have been shelved.

There are more than a million Filipino workers in US BPOs in the Philippines. The indignant Filipino workers have expressed fear they would lose their jobs if the investment climate in the country is no longer conducive for US BPO firms.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, however, assured US companies of continued protection. “Yes of course, they will be protected. Not only them but all businesses.”

“If we will not protect them, why are we still pursuing economic development? That is part of development so we have to protect those investments.”