Duterte blames Trump’s China tariffs for surging inflation in the Philippines

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President Duterte blamed Trump’s imposition of tariffs on certain Chinese products for the surging inflation in the Philippines.

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Addressing a gathering of about 2,000 Filipinos in Amman, Jordan, today (Friday, September 7) he said: “Inflation is because of Trump, when Trump raised tariffs and banned other items.

“I am not aplologising. There is really inflation and we are trying to control it,” he added.

He also said he would leave solutions to rising inflation to his economic managers, saying they are “brighter” than him.

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The president is currently in the Middle Eastern kingdom for an official visit.

As we reported on Wednesday, inflation hit 6.4 per cent last month, the highest level for nine years.

Earlier today, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said inflation was “nothing to worry about” despite many Filipinos, particularly among the poor, bearing the brunt of soaring prices for essential goods such as rice and vegetables.

He said: “We are addressing the issue on inflation. It will not happen overnight because the inflation is also because of the large amount of money circulating in our economy right now. We are facing the problem. And the president has always said that the bucks stop with him.

“So let’s just calm down. This is still normal. It’s higher than usual, but it’s nothing to be worried about.”

In the escalating trade war, the US has imposed taxes on certain products coming from China, while China has retaliated with tariffs on a range of US goods. This would have some effect on the Philippines when it comes to importing US goods made of materials from China.

But economists and observers believe the rising inflation in the Philippines is largely due to other factors, such as rising oil prices and the weakening of the peso against the US dollar.

As we reported yesterday, the Philippine peso reached a 13-year low when its value against the dollar bottomed out at 53.8 to $1 this week. 

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