The Philippines holds presidential elections today.
Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., son of the former dictator in the Philippines, is the winning candidate, according to a Pulse Asia Research poll that put him at 56%. Sarah Duterte, daughter of the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, is Marcos Jr.’s running mate for the vice-presidency and is polling 54%.
Regionally, the Philippines has a strategic value for the US. The Philippines had a profitable trade relationship with the US during the quota system time. China’s ascendence to the World Trade Organization in 2001 abolished the quota system and contracted the Philippines’ retail industry. In the last 47 years, the US did not implement Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the Philippines which led China to take over the Philippines’ retail market completely. China established FTAs with the Philippines and was faithful in including it in its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnerships.
This election will determine the future of South-East Asian trade as President Duterte in 2016 and Marcos Jr. in 2022 communicated their allegiances with China in trade. In the short term, expect Marcos Jr. to win this election given his alliance with the incumbent Duterte family. It is highly likely to see significant economic development between China and Philippines given their mutual economic interests and the tendencies of President Duterte and Marcos Jr.
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Marcos is an Analyst who specializes in International Diplomacy and Security. He focuses on significant developments within the MENA region.