The United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, stated that the US is not interested in pursuing a traditional free trade agreement (FTA) with the Philippines or any of its trading partners. Tai noted that the traditional FTA has contributed to vulnerabilities in supply chains and that the US is looking for a different approach to address current challenges and opportunities. Instead, the US is focused on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a trade initiative launched in May 2022 that aims to promote economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness among its 14 participating nations. The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been pushing for a bilateral FTA between the Philippines and the US, citing its economic benefits.
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