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US-PH FTA to be discussed after trade mission — Biden’s Export Council

GMA | 12 March 2024

US-PH FTA to be discussed after trade mission — Biden’s Export Council


A potential free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the United States will be brought to the table once the delegation of American business leaders, assembled by US President Joe Biden, comes back to America.

At a forum in Makati City, President’s Export Council (PEC) chairman Mark Ein on Tuesday said that talks about a US-Philippines FTA came up a few times.

The PEC serves as the US’ principal national advisory committee on international trade. It advises the US president of government policies and programs that affect American trade.

Ein is among the 22 American executives who joined US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo for a two-day trade and investment mission in the Philippines.

"That’s something we will discuss when we come back," the American executive said.

Ein, however, said that dealing with FTAs involves not only a single branch of the US government.

"The Legislative branch [or] Congress must be supportive of that," he said.

The US is the Philippines’ third-largest trading partner globally, with total trade values reaching approximately $20 billion.

According to the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the US Department of Commerce, an FTA is entered into by two countries which agree on certain obligations that affect trade in goods and services, protection for investors and intellectual property rights, among others.

"For the United States, the main goal of trade agreements is to reduce barriers to US exports, protect US interests competing abroad, and enhance the rule of law in the FTA partner country or countries," the ITA said.

The United States currently has 14 FTAs with 20 countries, the ITA added.

 source: GMA