THE UNITED States is looking to expand agricultural trade and food security joint initiatives with the Philippines as a delegation led by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley arrived in Manila on Monday.
“The USDA Philippines trade mission will offer an abundance of opportunities for both the United States and the Philippines,” said Mr. Whitley said in a statement on Monday.
The trade mission contingent includes representatives from US state departments of agriculture, agribusinesses and farm organizations, according to the US Embassy.
“I’m confident the next few days will produce mutually beneficial results to help expand trade, increase collaboration on key issues impacting agriculture in both our countries, and ultimately strengthen Philippine food security,” Mr. Whitley said.
Business meetings will be held this week between US trade mission delegates and Philippine companies seeking to import American food and farm products.
There will also be a signing of three memorandum of agreements, which will officially launch a US-funded program to combat the African Swine Fever in the Philippines, formalize deeper trade ties between Batangas province and US departments of agriculture, and strengthen relations between the Mariano Marcos State University and the US Grains Council to support biofuel solutions and climate smart practices.
“We have a diverse group of US agribusinesses and industry officials joining us in Manila who can provide reliable, high-quality, and sustainably produced US food and farm products to local buyers,” the US agriculture administrator said.
“We’re looking forward to increasing sales and meeting the growing demand from Filipino consumers for US foods,” he added.
The Philippines is the US’ eighth largest export market for food and agricultural products, averaging $3.1 billion (P174.8 billion) annually in the last five years. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan