The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) have released a Joint Statement announcing recent accomplishments of resolving a number of recurring bilateral trade issues under our bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) mechanism with the United States.

DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Deputy USTR Jeffrey D. Gerrish met at the sidelines of the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Singapore last 31 August 2018, where they agreed to accelerate the deepening of our bilateral economic relationship by working towards the resolution of key market access issues of interest to both countries, including in the areas of customs valuation, intellectual property rights, market access for Philippine agricultural products in the United States, and automotive safety standards. Both countries also agreed to collaborate on the development of cold chain facilities in the Philippines, with the assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Aid (USAID) and Philippine private sector companies.

Secretary Ramon Lopez lauded the release of the Joint Statement, saying that “This Joint Statement is a product of our strong collaboration with the government of the United States, and demonstrates the Philippines’ readiness to further deepen our bilateral economic relationship with one of our biggest trading partners” DTI Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Ceferino S. Rodolfo expressed optimism that the Philippines and the U.S. could soon discuss next steps: “We recall that the President Duterte in November 2017 met with President Donald Trump who welcomed the Philippines’ desire to explore a possible bilateral free trade agreement with the United States.”

With the issuance of the Joint Statement, both sides will now discuss next steps on how to further deepen trade and investment relations.


You may read the full Joint Statement here.