On March 21, the United States and the Philippines concluded a two-day meeting on trade and investment. Following this meeting, Manila and Washington have agreed to improve the overall coordination of their commercial policies.
Since 1989, the U.S. and the Philippines have been linked by a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). In 2013, the U.S. exported $8.4 billion USD in goods (+4.2% compared to 2012), while imports from the U.S. where at $9.2 billion USD (+4.8% compared to 2012). In 2012, the U.S. was the second largest consumer of goods from Philippines (14.2% of total exports) and their number one supplier (11.6% of total imports). That same year, U.S. investment in the Philippines totaled $5 billion USD mainly in the manufacturing sector.
At the meetings, the Philippine delegation addressed issue of the agricultural trade, in particular, exports of rice, meat and industrial textile which are looking for greater access to the American market. For their part, the United States recognized the efforts of the Philippine government to strengthen its intellectual property regime and the rights of workers. At the multilateral level, the Philippines expressed their ambition to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently being negotiated between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. As for the United States, they have agreed to intensify their cooperation with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), the next summit will be held in Manila, the next year.