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Many other provisions of economic relations have improved with the conclusion of the Laurel-Langley Agreement. U.S. control over the peso exchange rate has been lifted. The United States did not give in to its position on parity rights, but interpreted the issue in Philippine courts. After approval by the Philippine Congress in 1955, President Eisenhower submitted the agreement to the U.S. Congress, which on August 1, 1955, enacted the Philippine Trade Agreement Revision Act of 1955, which authorized the President to enter into an executive agreement with the President of the Philippines to revise the 1946 Agreement in accordance with the agreement signed on December 15. 1954, corrected. (69 Statistics 413) In May 1955, the Philippines concluded the Reparation Agreement with Japan. The agreement provided for the payment of the dollar equivalent of $550 million. In addition, the private sector was promised $250 million in loans on a commercial basis.

During Magsaysay`s presidency, the country concluded two agreements with significant economic consequences for the future. General Romulo raised the issue of President Magsaysay`s visit to the United States, saying he had hoped there would be some delay between Magsaysay`s visit and visits from other respected foreigners. Mr. Robertson explained the many difficulties given the large number of respected foreigners visiting the United States and explained that we wanted to be sure that any visit to Magsaysay was very well planned so that he received all the appropriate courtesies and honors. He said he felt that anything else would be worse than not visiting at all. General Romulo agreed. He also stated that he believed Magsaysay [page 646] should travel to the United States during the session of Congress.1 Revised Phl-U.S. Trade Agreement or Laurel-Langley Agreement. The U.S. Congress passed a law called the Philippine Trade Act in 1946. Better known as the Bell Trade Act, after its lead author, the Senator from Missouri, this U.S. law defines the U.S.

trade and economic relationship with the newly independent Philippine Republic. Mr. Robertson said that this issue had recently been discussed in the Department and that we would make the greatest possible concessions to the Philippines, in accordance with the need to obtain congressional approval. Robertson stressed that an agreement that proves unacceptable to Congress would be very unfortunate. He reiterated that we would agree to help the Philippines as much as possible with changes to the trade deal, noting that General Romulo was probably better qualified than most Americans to understand the issues at stake. Under the Laurel-Langley Agreement, the United States joined in the repeal of the provision that the exchange rate of the peso is subject to U.S. approval. But the United States has not wavered on the issue of parity rights, leaving that to the interpretation of the courts. The newly elected Philippine Congress was in turmoil shortly after independence. Congress attempted to amend the Constitution, but was unable to muster three-quarters of a vote required for an amendment. He did so only by removing from the House some deputies who opposed it. This led to a constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court.

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