Manny Pacquiao, Harry Reid Eye Revival of Filipino Garment Industry
During their association, the 32-year-old Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) also expressed his desire to meet president president Barack Obama, a request that was granted on Tuesday when Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee Pacquiao, were entertained during a 20-minute visit to Obama's Oval office of the White House.
The Washington, D.C., meeting culmnated the fourth and final stop in a four-city, promotional tour touting Pacaquiao's May 7, Showtime televised, WBO welterweight (147 pounds) defense against 39-year-old, three-division, five-time titlist Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), and ended a day that began with Pacquiao's being welcomed by Reid onto the floor of the United States Senate.
According to Top Promotions CEO, Bob Arum, however, Pacquiao also held a private conversation with Reid in the latter's office, during which he sought help to pass a law in the Philippines seeking aid for that nation's garment industry.
"Manny raised the talk about a bill that was very important to the Philippines. It's a bill where, if Filino apparel makers used American textiles, they could export goods to the United States without tariff," said Arum.
"And it is estimated that if the United States Senate passes that bill, it will create as many as 200,000 jobs in the Philippines. So it's a very, very crucial piece of legislation," said Arum. "Senator Reid committed to Manny that he would personally shepherd that bill and do what he could to see that it was passed."
Arum said that he was impressed with Pacquiao's ability to gain the support of senate majority leader.
"For Manny to get that support for a substantive bill like that, which, by the way, has bi-partisan support, and to get the support of the majority leader of the senate, who shepherds the bills through, is really a feather in his cap," Arum told Senior Correspondent Dyan Castillejo-Garcia of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation during an interview in his Top Rank offices in Las Vegas.
"If this legislation passes, and I'm very optimistic that it will, it will enable the Philippine apparel makers to compete," said Arum. "Because the goods would come in duty-free to the United States. This would be the first, really big thing that Manny has accomplished for the Philippines."