The top Philippine diplomat in the US is seeking the support of Filipino Americans to prod lawmakers to vote on a bill that's expected to boost trade between the two countries.
TORONTO - Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia is appealing to Filipino communities in the United States to petition their senators and congressmen to vote on a bill predicted to generate jobs in the Philippines, and revenues and market access for American fabrics.
Tagged as SAVE Our Industries Act, or SAVE Act, the bill "would allow Philippine made apparel using fabrics from the US to enter the US duty free," the diplomat said in a statement furnished for this reporter on Tuesday.
"For the United States, this bill would expand U.S. export of fabrics to Asian markets and would generate export income for American textile manufacturers. It would lead to thousands of jobs in the US textile sector," he stated.
Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia enlists support of Filipinos in the US.
Cuisia said the legislation would help revive the Philippine garments industry and create jobs for Filipino workers. According to him, close to half a million Filipinos were displaced since 2006 when the US lifted its apparel quota system and paved the way for China's emergence as the dominant player in the US market.
"I appeal for your active involvement in pushing for the bill’s passage by letting your senators and congressmen know that you feel strongly about the bill by sending them petition letters through the www.SaveOurIndustriesAct.org., as well as spreading the news and campaigning for the SAVE Act with our fellow kababayans here in the U.S," Cuisia wrote from the Philippine Embassy in Washington.
He said the current Congress is the "window of opportunity" to have the SAVE Act enacted.
Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) re-introduced the act in the Senate last month with Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) as original co-sponsors. In the House of Representatives, Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) sponsored it with Representatives Steve Austria (R-OH), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) as original co-sponsors.