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Secretary Raimondo Leads Successful Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines, President’s Export Council Trip to Thailand

First-of-its-kind Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines announced over $1 billion in investments

Raimondo leads members of the President’s Export Council on fact-finding trip to Thailand to identify opportunities to strengthen bilateral commercial relationship

Raimondo hosts virtual IPEF Ministerial and Department of Commerce publishes text of the proposed Clean Economy Agreement, Fair Economy Agreement, and Agreement on IPEF

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo traveled to Southeast Asia on behalf of President Biden to lead a Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines and members of the President’s Export Council on a fact-finding trip to Thailand.

From March 11-12, Secretary Raimondo led a delegation of senior executives from 22 prominent U.S. businesses and non-profit organizations on a first-of-its-kind Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to Manila. Secretary Raimondo met with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to discuss cooperation and joint efforts to strengthen commercial relationships and to build resilient supply chains across the Indo-Pacific and reaffirm the importance the United States places on a strong bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two countries.

In Manila, Secretary Raimondo and the Mission’s delegation met with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) of the Philippines to discuss key economic areas of mutual interest. The Secretary also participated in two roundtables – one with Filipina women in business for a discussion on supporting women’s economic empowerment, and one with representatives from labor organizations to emphasize the importance that the Biden-Harris Administration places on advancing labor rights and standards globally.

While in the Philippines, Raimondo encouraged both the U.S. and Philippine private sectors and Philippine government to capitalize on the historic momentum in U.S.-Philippine relations. Together, delegates participating in the Mission have announced over $1 billion of recently-completed or anticipated U.S. investments, creating educational and career opportunities for an estimated over 30 million Filipinos.

“In our first-of-its-kind Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines, we announced over $1 billion in investments,” said Secretary Gina Raimondo. “We share an important relationship with the Philippines, and I believe the work we accomplished will make our partnership even stronger.”

Following Secretary Raimondo’s successful Mission to Manila, the Secretary traveled to Thailand to lead members of the President’s Export Council (PEC) to Bangkok from March 13-14. The focus of this official visit was to identify opportunities for both countries to strengthen commercial relationships across manufacturing, supply chain resiliency, the digital economy, and clean technology.

In Bangkok, Secretary Raimondo met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Phumtham Wechayachai to discuss trade and investment priorities related to the digital economy, clean energy and sustainability, and semiconductors. The Secretary and Minister of Commerce also met with PEC members to exchange ideas on strengthening trade and investment ties across both countries.

While in Thailand, Secretary Raimondo also met with key government officials and stakeholders of the semiconductor industry to discuss ways to strengthen global supply chain resilience and cooperation between the United States and Thailand. Raimondo met with the Minister of Digital Economy and Society Prasert Chanthararuangthong to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the digital economy, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. With the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, the Secretary had a meeting focused on strengthening diplomatic and commercial ties through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), and with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Secretary Raimondo thanked Thailand for its continued partnership in advancing shared economic priorities, including through IPEF.

“In Bangkok, members of the PEC met with key representatives and stakeholders, including in the semiconductor industry, to look at how we can strengthen global supply chain resilience,” said Secretary Gina Raimondo. “The U.S. is committed to working with Thailand on this critical issue, and to continue finding ways we can address shared challenges and opportunities with Thailand, as well as our IPEF partners throughout the region, to uplift our economies, workers, and countries.”

In addition to bilateral meetings and engagements with stakeholders, this official visit to Thailand served as an opportunity for Secretary Raimondo to join Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, along with the ministers from the 12 other IPEF partners, in their first ministerial meeting of 2024. During the meeting, Secretary Raimondo reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to work closely with IPEF partners to quickly begin operationalizing the IPEF Supply Chain Agreement after its entry into force on February 24, 2024, and welcomed the significant progress made since the substantial conclusion of the negotiations for the proposed IPEF Clean Economy Agreement, the IPEF Fair Economy Agreement, and Agreement on IPEF in November 2023. The IPEF partners discussed the ongoing cooperative work ahead across the three proposed agreements, and building on that progress, the Department of Commerce published the text of the proposed agreements. 

Please find readouts, press releases, and notable media coverage from Secretary Raimondo’s travel to the Philippines and Thailand below:

Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines

Reuters: US companies to announce investments of over $1 billion in the Philippines   

“American companies are set to announce investments amounting to more than $1 billion in the Philippines, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said during an official visit to Manila on Monday. Raimondo is heading a two-day trade and investment mission, the first of its kind for the Philippines. The delegation includes executives from 22 companies including United Airlines, Alphabet’s Google, Visa, KKR Asia Pacific and Microsoft – Speaking at a joint briefing with Philippine officials after meeting with Marcos at the presidential palace, Raimondo said Washington’s commitment to expanding trade and investment in the Philippines extends to the larger Indo-Pacific region through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework – a 14-nation U.S.-led group. Raimondo reiterated the United States has no intention of “decoupling” from China but it would not be allowed access to Washington’s advanced technology.”

Bloomberg: US Companies to Invest $1 Billion in Philippines, Raimondo Says   

“US companies that joined the trade and investment mission organized by President Joe Biden will invest more than $1 billion in the Philippines, according to US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo who leads the delegation. The US and Philippines alliance is “ironclad,” Raimondo said in a joint briefing by the US group and Philippine officials Monday. The commerce secretary leads an investment mission with about 20 American executives to strengthen economic relations. Microsoft Corp. announced new partnerships and programs to accelerate AI adoption in the Philippines, according to a separate statement. Other US investments include in the areas of digital upskilling, solar and nuclear projects, and a new airline route to Cebu province, Raimondo said.”

Manila Standard: US top-level execs to visit PH in trade, investment mission   

“DTI Foreign Trade Service Officer Jollan Margaret Llaneza reported that the US trade delegation “will be a high-level delegation comprised of 22 business delegates and C-level representatives from strategic sectors. “Our goal here is to foster the relationship between our Philippine business sector and their American counterparts, so we can have commercially meaningful partnerships,” she added. – US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo leads the upcoming visit, which fulfills a promise made by US President Joe Biden during President Ferdinand Marcos’ US trip last year. Among the members of the US delegation are Filipino-American artist Allan Pineda, also known as ‘Apl.de.Ap,’ who will be representing his foundation; United Airlines president Brett Hart, Capital One Philippines president Sara Murphy, and US-ASEAN Business Council president and CEO Ted Osius.”

The Filipino Times: US companies to invest over $1 billion in PH   

“US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo brought good news to the Philippines, saying that 22 American companies are investing over $1 billion worth of investments in the country. Arriving in the country on Monday, March 11, Raimondo met with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and the country’s economic team to represent United States President Joe Biden, who wants to strengthen trade relations with the Philippines. “US companies are interested to invest in Filipinos. Just look at the many American companies that provide employment and professional development for thousands of Filipinos, putting them on a path to higher-paying jobs,” Raimondo, who leads a high-level Presidential Trade and Investment Mission, said in a press briefing.”

Financial Times: US seeks boost for Philippine chip sector as competition mounts with China   

“US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo has called for a sharp increase in capacity for assembling, testing and packaging semiconductors in the Philippines, as Washington seeks to bolster rapidly growing defence co-operation with its oldest Asian ally. The Philippines has 13 so-called back-end semiconductor plants that specialise in assembling, testing and packaging chips manufactured elsewhere. “Let’s double it,” Raimondo said on Tuesday during a US trade and investment mission to the Philippines. The appeal followed pledges of $1bn of fresh investment in the country from companies including Microsoft and United Airlines that were part of a 22-strong business delegation. The push comes as government officials and analysts warn that Washington must add more economic engagement to its military and security co-operation with Asian partners if it is to compete successfully with China in the region.”

President’s Export Council Fact-Finding Trip to Thailand

Reuters: Thailand to benefit from semiconductor production rejig, says US commerce secretary   

“Thailand stands to gain from a move by the United States to diversify semiconductor production, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday, adding that American firms were ready to “supercharge” investments into the Southeast Asian country. The electrical and electronics industry is one of Thailand’s main foreign investment magnets, and a key sector that Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s government is looking to expand as it seeks to kickstart a sluggish economy. “Production of semiconductors is dangerously concentrated in one or two countries in the world,” Raimondo said at an event in Bangkok, outlining that the U.S. would look to push additional investments into countries that are part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) as it seeks to diversify production.”

Associated Press: US commerce secretary hails progress at year’s first meeting of Indo-Pacific trade grouping    

“U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Thursday praised the progress made by the 14 countries in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity after the group held a ministerial meeting Thursday to discuss proposed guidelines for regional commerce. Raimondo was in the Thai capital Bangkok to take part in the virtual meeting, the year’s first for the grouping. She is on an Asia tour that also took her to the Philippines this week with a private sector delegation to promote trade, investment and the diversification of global supply chains, especially for semiconductors. Washington launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF, in May 2022 to establish a zone of economic cooperation in a region that is estimated to account for 40% of global GDP.”

Politico: Commerce touts IPEF progress, unveils new draft agreements    

“Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Thursday said negotiations towards the completion of the U.S-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework are entering a new stage, and released proposed texts covering agreements on “clean economy” and “fair economy” as well as overarching rules for how the IPEF arrangement will function. “It’s clear that the next phase of IPEF will continue to deliver concrete results for each of our economies,” Raimondo said during IPEF’s first ministerial meeting this year, according to a readout from Commerce. The virtual ministerial was hosted by Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara and attended by ministers from the other 12 countries involved in the initiative…Commerce also announced new initiatives across the IPEF pillars to support economic cooperation. The proposed agreement on IPEF would establish two ministerial-level bodies to meet annually, as well as an IPEF Council tasked with considering matters that affect the agreement’s broad operation, as well as proposals for the accession of new members.”

The Nation Thailand: US Secretary of Commerce enhances economic partnerships during Bangkok visit    

“Secretary Raimondo spoke with Amcham President Ornkanya Pibuldham of Bank of America. Raimondo emphasized Thailand’s pivotal role as a trade partner and underscored the US commitment to amplifying collaboration in the region. Ornkanya remarked, “Our dialogue centred around forging synergies that not only boost trade but also stimulate technological advancements and sustainable growth.” Amcham represents over 650 member companies; the attendees included business executives from diverse sectors such as automotive, energy, digital technology, manufacturing, banking and finance, and more. The event was also attended by US Ambassador to Thailand Robert Godec, members of President Biden’s Advisory Council, and senior US Department of Commerce officials. Raimondo is in Thailand with the President Biden’s Export Council. The meetings aim to provide a platform to explore avenues for expanding US-Thai commercial relations, with Raimondo expressing her appreciation for the partnership between the two countries.”

Originally posted at https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2024/03/secretary-raimondo-leads-successful-presidential-trade-and-investment

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