US, Philippines Coordinate on DDA

Original Publication Date: 
4 August, 2005

The United States and the Philippines last week concluded meetings under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, during which they discussed the full range of bilateral issues and coordinated on the World Trade Organization Doha Development Agenda negotiations (WTD, 8/1/05).

The meeting was led by Assistant US Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and Pacific Affairs Barbara Weisel and Thomas Aquino, Undersecretary for the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry.

Meanwhile, the United States yesterday welcomed the Philippines' announcement that it will lift its ban on the importation of US beef that had been imposed in response to prior concerns related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Agriculture Secretary Domingo F. Panganiban signed a memorandum order lifting the precautionary measures imposed in June 2005 on the importation of live cattle, beef and related products from the United States. The United States has been working with the Philippines to provide it the information and certification language it needed to lift the ban. The Philippines determined that US control measures assure the safety of US beef.

Under the agreement, the United States will now be able to export boneless beef from cattle not older than 30 months to the Philippines. The estimated value of the Philippines market reopening to US boneless beef is $2.5 million.

In 2003, the United States exported $4.9 million worth of beef and beef products to the Philippines.

The Philippines also announced that it will not subject in-quota imports of poultry to safeguard duties. The action ensures continued US access to the Philippine poultry market, the second largest inSoutheast Asia, according to USTR.

Bilateral, Regional and WTO Issues

The two sides reviewed key bilateral economic issues, including a joint action plan to improve intellectual property protection. The Philippines committed to intensify efforts to strengthen its intellectual property enforcement and prosecution of criminal cases.

Also discussed were market access issues related to agricultural products, telecommunications and autos. In addition, the two sides exchanged views on specific steps that the Philippines could take to improve its investment climate and trade capacity building projects that could help further build the trade relationship.

The United States and the Philippines also coordinated on regional issues. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to an ambitious result in the Doha round.

The Philippines is currently the 26th largest goods trading partner with the United States with $16.2 billion worth of total two-way goods trade during 2004.