ASEAN business leader questions Trump’s goal to bring back jobs to America

ASEAN business leader questions Trump’s goal to bring back jobs to America

MANILA — A business advisor to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has doubted the ambition of U.S. President Donald Trump to boost the U.S. manufacturing, saying on Thursday that Trump was trying to bring back jobs at the expense of consumers’ benefits.

Joey Concepcion, chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council, made the remarks at a press briefing ahead of the 30th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

Citing low costs as one of the strength of ASEAN countries, Concepcion said the costs for corporations in the United States would be far much higher than in ASEAN.

“Who is going to buy an iPhone that is going to cost much more in America than what can be done in Asia?” said Concepcion, adding the United States will bring back the jobs at the expense of consumers’ benefits.

Concepcion noted that even the Philippines, where a call center employee earns at most USD 500 a month, is also looking to import rice from other countries, because it benefits the consumers.

If there is no roadmap to level up the product, “just open the door,” said Concepcion when asked to comment on the protectionism, as seen in President Trump’s trade polices such as the threat to levy high taxes on imported goods.

The ASEAN summit, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, is seen as the first meeting between ASEAN leaders since the election of Trump as U.S. president. The leaders are expected to talk about the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, amid U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. PNA/Xinhua-northboundasia.com