Biden to send top-level trade mission to PH in March | Global News

Biden to send top-level trade mission to PH in March

/ 05:25 AM January 15, 2024



The White House announced over the weekend that the United States will dispatch to the Philippines next month a trade and investment mission to be headed by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

In a statement on Friday, White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said that the delegation would be in Manila until from March 11 to March 12 as part of the United States’ commitments under the 123 Agreement that US President Joe Biden signed with President Marcos in November last year.


The 123 Agreement allows the transfer of information, nuclear material, equipment and components directly between the two states to enhance US companies’ contributions to the Philippine economy, connective infrastructure, clean energy transition, critical minerals sector, and food security, Watson said.


Mindanao railway project

Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez earlier said that Washington offered assistance for the stalled Mindanao Railway project.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chair of the House of Representatives’ committee on ways and means, on Sunday welcomed the White House announcement of the trade mission which, he said, was a “demonstration of the United States’ commitment that it must back its promises of friendship with real economic opportunities for the Filipino people.”

Salceda said the mission was a first-of-its-kind, high-level mission that was the “direct result of President Marcos’ assiduous cultivation of stronger United States-Philippines ties.”

“I am particularly encouraged by its offer of financing the Mindanao Railway Project through the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the United States’ agency for supporting projects in developing countries. Segments of the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul project to Bicol are also potential investment areas,” Salceda pointed out.

The lawmaker noted that the DFC as a financing source was advantageous as it was “designed to revitalize the United States’ presence in [official development assistance] financing—and is therefore allowed to make deeply concessional financing in its 2018 charter. That includes equity investments and loans in local currencies.”

“The United States’ renewed role in promoting prosperity in our region is a vital aspect of our common security interests,” according to Salceda, who added, “US investment and trade in areas such as aerospace and defense, pharmaceuticals, transport, and energy, where their money usually comes with know-how and technology, is most welcome.” INQ

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TAGS: Joe Biden, PH-US Relations, US trade mission

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