1st US presidential trade mission to PH set on March 11-12

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US presidential trade mission
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will head the first US presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines from March 11-12, 2024. Photo from Ms Raimondo's Facebook page.
  • The first US presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines has been scheduled for March 11-12
  • Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will head the delegation
  • The mission will enhance US firms’ contributions to the country’s innovation economy, connective infrastructure, clean energy transition, critical minerals sector, and food security
  • It is also designed to reinforce the Philippines as a pivotal hub for regional supply chains and high-quality investment 

The first US presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines has been scheduled for March 11-12.

The delegation will be headed by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

Watson said President Joe Biden aims to enhance contributions of US companies to the Philippines’ innovation economy, connective infrastructure, clean energy transition, critical minerals sector, and food security.

The mission is also designed to reinforce the Philippines as a pivotal hub for regional supply chains and high-quality investment.

It is part of US commitments under the 123 Agreement that Biden signed with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in November 2023.

Watson said it aligns with Biden’s commitment to Marcos to advance economic ties between the US and the Philippines while upholding internationally recognized labor rights.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez previously disclosed that a representative from the US International Development Financial Corp. (DFC) would be part of the mission.

The US reportedly offered assistance for the stalled Mindanao Railway Project, with financing expected from the DFC. The railway project was initially supposed to have been funded by China, but loan agreements with China Eximbank was withdrawn by the Philippine government after Beijing’s failure to act on funding requests by the Duterte administration.

READ: 3 stalled railway projects for resubmission to NEDA

Albay Representative Joey Salceda, chair of the House committee on ways and means, welcomed the announcement and noted the mission was a “direct result” of President Marcos’ efforts to strengthen US-Philippines ties.

He highlighted the advantageous nature of the DFC as a financing source, allowing for deeply concessional financing in areas like equity investments and loans in local currencies.