The United States and the Philippines on March 16 held a meeting of their bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council. A USTR press release states that the meeting focused on key bilateral issues such as investment, customs, intellectual property rights and agricultural trade issues and explored the Philippines’ interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Among other things, U.S. officials briefed their Philippine counterparts on key TPP chapters of interest and reviewed plans for further technical consultations on TPP outcomes.
The two sides also exchanged views on how to intensify cooperation on WTO, APEC and ASEAN matters, including the WTO Information Technology Agreement and the Trade Facilitation Agreement, as well as a Philippine proposal in APEC on ways to continue to support participation of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in international trade. In addition, the U.S. and the Philippines agreed to work closely to advance the ASEAN trade and investment agenda.