Duterte blames Trump for record-high inflation in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has blamed tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump on certain products for record-high inflation in the Philippines, the Manila Times Online reported on Sunday.

In his speech during a meeting with Filipinos in Jordan, Duterte said he would not be apologizing for the high inflation as he claimed that the US had something to do with the rising commodity prices in the Philippines.

Inflation rose to a fresh nine-year high of 6.4 percent in August, increasing the odds of another interest-rate hike to discourage lending and cool down consumer demand.

Duterte, however, did not make an excuse and said the government was trying to do something to address the inflation problem.

He said he was leaving it to his economic managers to address the impact of inflation, admitting that he is not an expert in economics.

But analysts disagreed with Duterte that US trade policy has affected the prices of goods in the Philippines.

Antonio “Butch” Valdes, who heads the Save the Nation Movement, blamed the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law as a factor that caused the spike in inflation.

He said the additional tariff imposed on Philippine exports to the US increases prices for the US consumers and not for Filipino consumers.

He suggested that the president declared a state of emergency to address the rising inflation.

Economic managers have attributed the record-high inflation to higher electricity, gas, fuels, fish, rice, personal transport, vegetables and meal prices.


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