Philippines-US relations

US commerce chief Raimondo to lead trade, investment mission to PH in March

Bea Cupin

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US commerce chief Raimondo to lead trade, investment mission to PH in March

US COMMERCE CHIEF. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Secretary Gina Raimondo's official Facebook page

The White House says the presidential trade and investment mission would 'enhance US companies’ contributions to the Philippines’ innovation economy, connective infrastructure, clean energy transition, critical minerals sector, and the food security of its people' 

MANILA, Philippines – US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will lead a presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines from March 11 to 12, the White House announced late Friday, January 12.

The announcement was made less than a year after an “ambitious agenda” that includes key trade commitments was laid out in the Oval Office.

The White House said the mission would “enhance US companies’ contributions to the Philippines’ innovation economy, connective infrastructure, clean energy transition, critical minerals sector, and the food security of its people.” 

US President Joe Biden had described the endeavor as a “first-of-its-kind” mission when he met Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in Washington, DC in May 2023. 

Both Biden and Marcos have expressed a common desire to “deepening [bilateral] economic cooperation.”

Aside from the presidential trade mission, Manila will be hosting the 2024 Indo-Pacific Business Forum, described as the US’s “marquee commercial event in the region.”

A White House release in May 2023 said Manila’s hosting would “further establish the Philippines as a key hub for regional supply chains and high-quality investment.”

Bilateral ties between Manila and Washington DC have strengthened under Marcos, particularly when it comes to defense. Marcos has agreed to give American troops access to more Philippine bases, while also pushing for an update on the decades-old Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty. 

It’s also under Marcos that the Philippines saw the biggest joint Philippines-US military exercise, to date. – Rappler.com 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.