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Manila Pushes for U.S., Japan Ties

Philippines Pursues Deeper Economic Ties with Japan and US, Eyes Critical Minerals Pact

Posted on June 14, 2024
Writer: James Miller

The Philippines aims to strengthen economic relations with Japan and the U.S., seeking tariff cuts on banana exports while exploring participation in a trilateral agreement on critical minerals. 

During an interview on Monday, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual emphasized the need for economic strength to bolster strategic partnerships.

Manila is advocating for a review of its existing free trade agreement with Japan to reduce export tariffs on bananas, a move aimed at enhancing trade opportunities and diversifying markets. 

This initiative aligns with the Philippines’ efforts to deepen economic ties with the US and Japan following a trilateral summit in April. This comes amid growing tensions with China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Pascual highlighted the importance of market diversification amid tensions with China, emphasizing the need to expand economic partnerships with other countries. 

As part of its strategy, the Philippines is resuming free trade talks with the EU, advancing negotiations with the United Arab Emirates, and exploring potential agreements with African and Latin American nations. 

Additionally, the Philippines aims to leverage its abundant nickel supply by producing batteries for electric vehicles, targeting investments from US and Japanese companies. While discussions with potential investors, including major US electric vehicle makers, are underway, specific details remain undisclosed.

For more insights, read the full article on Bloomberg.

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