The United States and the Philippines this week concluded two days of talks under the Trade and Investment Framework, agreeing to a program of expanded engagement in coming months on bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues.   Among other issues, the two sides held detailed discussions on agricultural trade, including issues related to rice and meat, and these discussion will continue in the coming weeks,, according to a press release yesterday from the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The Philipines also expressed interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and “the United States briefed the Philippines on the goals and objective that the twelve TPP countries are seeking to achieve,” USTR said.  The two sides began consultations to provide the Philippine government the detailed information it will need to consider whether to seek to join the TPP agreement.

South Korea has also expressed interest in joining the TPP. However, U.S. officials have said Seoul could only join the TPP after negotiations between the 12 current countries are completed.  It is thought that this would be the case for the Philippines as well.