Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

Trump: US-China trade deal could be reached in weeks

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2019

United States President Donald Trump (Reuters file photo)

United States President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China is getting very close and could be reached in about four weeks.

Trump spoke at a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who is in Washington for trade talks.

Liu said there has been great progress in the negotiations.

“Because of your direct involvement, we do have a great progress. Although we still have some remainings, but I think hopefully, we get a good result,” Liu said.

“We have a number of things, but we also we’ve agreed to far more than we have left to agree to. And, in fact I would say, I think I can say that some of the toughest things have been agreed to. We have some things that are actually easier right now that we’re, we’re doing. But it’s a very, very – I am using a word that I don’t like using too often – but it’s a very, very comprehensive deal,” Trump said.

China and the US are in the middle of intense negotiations to end a months-long trade war that has rattled global markets.

Washington wants sweeping changes to China’s economic and trade policies, while Beijing wants Trump to lift expensive sanctions on Chinese goods.

Trump also lamented about the amount of money that the US, China and Russia spend on weapons production, including nuclear weapons, and suggested that such money could be better spent elsewhere.

Trump floated the idea of following up on a potential trade deal with China with a second deal that addressed the issue of military spending and arms production.

“But as you know China is spending a lot of money on military, so are we, so is Russia, and those three countries [U.S.] I think can come together and stop the spending, and spend on things that maybe are more productive toward long term peace,” Trump said. REUTERS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lawmakers call Trump’s attack as attempt to distract from his policies

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Four minority U.S. congresswomen, known as the “the squad”, accused President Donald Trump of trying to sow division and distract attention from what they characterized as failed policies on immigration, health care and taxation on Monday (July 15).

“This president does not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve health care. He does not know how to defend his policies. So, what he does is attack us personally and that is what this is all about,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York – Democrat) said.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts – Democrat) urged the public to “not take the bait” following Trump’s Twitter messages on Sunday (July 14) that said the lawmakers should go back to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

All four of the first-term House members are U.S. citizens and all but one were born in the United States.

The president’s remarks were widely derided and some, though not many, of his fellow Republicans spoke out against them.

Trump did not identify the lawmakers by name in his Sunday tweets, but he appeared to refer to representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

“This is not the first, nor will it be the last time we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Michigan- Democrat) said.

Omar said Trump’s remarks were rooted in the “agenda of white nationalists.”

Tlaib and Omar repeated their calls for Trump to be impeached. (REUTERS)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Iran ready to talk to U.S. if sanctions lifted

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking at televised address | Courtesy: Reuters footage

Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it quit last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday (July 14).

“When a big power that is a bully, well then we have to stand up to it. It must stop being a bully. We have always believed in talks. Always, right this hour, right this moment, if they stop the oppression, if they stop the belligerence, if they lift sanctions, return to the table, return to to logic; we are ready,” said Rouhani.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration says it is open to negotiations with Iran on a more far-reaching agreement on nuclear and security issues.

But Iran has made any talks conditional on first being able to export as much oil as it did before the United States withdrew from the nuclear pact with world powers in May 2018.

Confrontations between Washington and Tehran have escalated, culminating in a plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute. (REUTERS)

(Production: Vin Shahrestani)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Philippines eyes withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. hinted on the possible withdrawal of the Philippines from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNCHR).

Locsin posted the idea on Saturday (July 13) when a netizen inquired about how the Philippine representation in Iceland reacted to the Council’s approval of Iceland’s resolution seeking to probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines in relation to the Duterte administration’s drug war.

The resolution garnered 18 affirmative votes, 14 negative and 15 abstentions.

 “No embassy in Iceland. Nor does Iceland have an embassy here. Iceland took the place of the US after it withdrew from the Human Rights Council. I think we need to follow America more,” Locsin said.

The United States withdrew from the UNHRC on June 19, 2018 in protest to what it claimed as ‘chronic bias’ against Israel and for allowing human rights violators and abusers as members.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley then described the human rights body as ‘hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”

“For too long, the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias,” Haley said during the official announcement of U.S. withdrawal from UNHRC.

In October 2018, the Philippines lobbied for a seat at the UNHRC and won after receiving 165 votes of 192 cast by UN member states.

Tags: , , , ,