Duterte blames Trump and his tariffs for inflation

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U.S. President Donald Trump is to blame for inflation, President Rodrigo Duterte says.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) — Who is to blame for the faster rise in prices of goods? It's United States President Donald Trump, as President Rodrigo Duterte believes.

"Inflation is… Dahil 'yan sa — kay Trump. When Trump raised the — 'yung mga tariff niya pati banned other items, nagkaloko-loko...," Duterte told the Filipino community in Jordan on Monday.

[Translation: That's because of Trump. When Trump raised his tariff, even banned other items, things got chaotic.]

The Trump administration has recently shocked global markets due to economic policy shifts. These include the ramping up of tariffs on Chinese goods, as well as reports of leaving the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) deal and engaging merely with Mexico without Canada's presence.

READ: NAFTA talks: Canada voices optimism as it rejoins negotiations

However, Duterte said government is doing what it can to intervene after the Philippine Stastistics Authority (PSA) pegged inflation for August at 6.4 percent.

"I am not apologizing. There is really inflation in the Philippines and we are trying to control it," he said.

This was the highest recorded inflation rate since March 2009 when inflation hit 6.6 percent under the administration of now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The PSA attributed the surge to food and fuel price increases across the board.

Markets sunk following the inflation blow, and business sentiment is at an eight-year low due to expectations that government would not meet its target of 2 to 4 percent.