Philippines to Join Largest Trade Pact After Senate Approval

(Bloomberg) — The Philippine Senate has approved the country’s participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade deal that includes China and Southeast Asian nations.

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Twenty senators voted to concur with the government’s ratification of the deal, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said in a statement Wednesday. Under the Philippine Constitution, at least two-thirds of 24 senators must approve a treaty or international agreement for it to be valid in the nation.

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Joining the 15-nation deal will give the Philippines greater access to goods and boost investments, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a separate statement. Minority Senator Risa Hontiveros, the lone lawmaker who opposed the deal, however said that the country’s farm sector stands to lose from the agreement.

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