Laurel Langley Trade Agreement
December 11, 2020
An OAR meeting was held on November 30 to discuss the interdepartmental response to our NSSM last June, at which it was asked to review U.S. policy towards the Philippines. This review was conducted to examine what steps we could take in the face of growing political uncertainties in the Philippines to protect our access to U.S. military bases and our important trade (not quite $800 million) and private investment in that country (approximately $1 billion), as well as to express our fundamental concern for the long-term stability of the Philippines. The rise of Philippine nationalism, which was heard in the reformulation of the 1936 Constitution by the Constitutional Convention, threatened to impose unacceptable restrictions on our basic access and american private investment. Marcos, who suffered from very limited political support and was widely accused of wanting to immortalize himself in power, relied on the nationalist ploy to demand a fundamental revision of all Philippine treaties and agreements with American civil disorder, and continued the slow slide towards what Marcos and many others feared would become a revolution of the far left in the coming decades. The revised Phl-US trade agreement or the Laurel Langley agreement. In 1946, the United States Congress passed a law called the Philippine Trade Act. Better known as the Bell Trade Act, according to its lead author, the Senator from Missouri, this U.S. law wrote U.S. trade and economic relations with the newly independent republic of the Philippines. In May 1955, the Philippines concluded a reparation agreement with Japan.
The agreement provided for the payment of the $550 million dollar equivalent. Apart from that, $250 million in loans were promised to the private sector on a commercial basis. General Romulo raised the issue of President Magsaysay`s visit to the United States and said he hoped there would be some lag between Magsaysay`s visit and visits by other prominent foreigners. Mr. Robertson explained the many difficulties faced by the large number of high-profile foreigners visiting the United States and said that we wanted to make sure that every visit to Magsaysay was very well planned, so that he would receive all the appropriate politeness and honours. He said he felt that anything less would be worse than no visit at all. General Romulo agreed. He also stated that he believed that Magsaysay [page 646] should travel to the United States while Congress met.1 In the case of the Philippines, the resolution of reparation issues first paved the way for future future relations, in which Japanese foreign aid could play a decisive role in addressing the country`s growing development needs. , beyond repairs and beyond commercial channels. Investment and development assistance. Under Magsaysay`s presidency, the country has concluded two agreements with significant economic consequences for the future.
Many other provisions of economic relations improved with the conclusion of the Laurel Langley Agreement. The U.S. control of the peso exchange rate has been cancelled. The United States did not give in to its position on parity rights and allowed the case to be interpreted in the Philippine courts. Mr. Robertson said that this issue had recently been discussed within the department and that we will make the broadest possible concessions in the Philippines that are consistent with the need for congressional approval. Robertson stressed that an agreement that has proved unacceptable to Congress would be extremely regrettable. He reiterated that we would be willing to help the Philippines as much as possible with respect to the changes to the trade agreement and stressed that General Romulo was probably better qualified than most Americans to understand the problems associated with it.