It’s time to reform global trade rules, says France’s Macron

admin   •   May 31, 2018   •   3107

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends the OECD ministerial council meeting on “Refounding Multilateralism” in Paris, France, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday (May 30) said it was time for the world’s biggest economic powers to start talks on reshaping World Trade Organization rules to prevent current tensions spiraling into trade wars.

Macron’s comments before the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) came as the European Union faced less than 48 hours to win an exemption from U.S. tariffs on European aluminum and steel.

“This is about a complete update of global competition rules,” Macron said, advocating multilateralism at a time when the risk of tit-for-tat trade measures threatens to derail global growth.

The French leader wants the EU, United States, China and Japan to draw up a blueprint for WTO reform in time for the next G-20 meeting in Argentina at the end of the year.

Macron has painted himself as a defender of global co-operation – what he calls “strong multilateralism” – and sought to dissuade leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin from going it alone on issues from diplomacy to trade and the environment.

Trump has effectively engineered a crisis in the WTO’s system of settling global disputes by vetoing all appointments of judges to its appeals chamber. — Reuters

Hidilyn Diaz bags PH’s first Olympic gold medal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz will take home the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal after winning the women’s 55-kg weightlifting event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday (July 26).

Diaz finished with a total score 224 kg, lifting 97 in the snatch and 127 in the clean & jerk snatching the gold from China’s Liao Qiuyun who finished with a total score of 223 kg. Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo won the bronze medal after scoring a total of 213 kg.

Malacañang lauded Diaz for her success and for making the country proud.

“The Palace congratulates Hidilyn Diaz for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines for winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement.

In 2016, Diaz previously won a silver medal in the women’s 53-kg category in the 2016 Rio Olympics. AAC

PH gov’t to verify reports on foreign ships’ alleged sewage dumping in West Philippine Sea

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will look into a report that some foreign vessels were allegedly dumping sewage wastes in the contested parts of the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement in response to a report released by US-based geospatial imagery firm, Simularity, which stated that foreign ships have been dumping sewage and human wastes in the reefs of the disputed waters.

“The responsible answer is we are verifying first, we will react if it’s been verified,” Roque said in a press briefing.

“We should accord our neighbors, and our friends the presumption of good faith, when they say something about an issue,” he added.

If the reports are true, Roque said the government would never allow the Philippines to become a garbage dump.

He even cited the incident when the Philippines sent back to Canada its illegally exported trash in 2019.

The Department of National Defense earlier said it is already verifying the report as it noted that the photo accompanying it was supposedly taken on the Australian Great Barrier Reef in 2014.

Over 1 million AstraZeneca vaccine jabs from Japan to arrive in PH Thursday night

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Over a million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that were donated by the Japanese government are expected to arrive in the Philippines on Thursday night, Malacañang said.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the vaccine jabs from Japan are among the two batches of AstraZeneca doses due to be delivered this week.

Inaasahan natin na may darating na dalawang batches ng AstraZeneca ngayong linggong ito. Una ang AstraZeneca na donasyon ng Japanese government, mamayang gabi po ang dating niyan,” Roque said.

“Pangalawa, ang AstraZeneca na galing po sa COVAX Facility,” he added.

Based on data presented by Roque, a total of 1,124,100 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will come from Japan while the shipment from the vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility contains 2,028,000 doses.

Roque also announced that the Philippines is also expecting to receive this week two batches of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine from Russia.

The shipments will contain around 170,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine.

The National Task Force against COVID-19 earlier said there were delays in the delivery of vaccine supplies because vaccine manufacturers usually prepare for the deployment or the inventory of their supply during the first and last weeks of the month.

For the month of July, the Philippines is expecting to receive at least 16 million vaccine doses, including the 3 million doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine donated by the US government through the vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility.

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