Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo (right) meets with USTR Director Ron Baumgarten (left) at the Philippine Embassy on June 1, 2018. Joining the meeting is Embassy Economic Minister JV Chan Gonzaga (center).

WASHINGTON — Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy, met on May 31 and June 1, 2018 with senior U.S. Government officials, executives of the U.S. business community, and congressional staffers to discuss trade and investment issues, and exchanged views on how to further deepen the important PH-U.S. economic and development partnership.

The undersecretary’s visit was a follow-up to the meetings under the Philippine-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) held on Nov. 29, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

It was also intended to further build on the results of the November 2017 meeting between President Duterte and President Donald Trump, where the United States welcomed Philippine interest in deepening the bilateral trade relationship through consideration of a potential free trade agreement.

“My meetings in Washington, D.C. this week were also aimed at pursuing crucial conversations with the U.S. Government and business community, as we find ways to enhance our trade and economic relations in order to achieve mutual prosperity,” Rodolfo said in a statement.

“There were additional discussions of outstanding TIFA issues as a result of the candid and productive meetings that Deputy USTR Jeffrey Gerrish recently had in Manila with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol,” he added.

Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo meets with U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for Asia Charles Freeman and Senior Director for Southeast Asia John Goyer on May 31, 2018.

Rodolfo’s engagements included meetings with Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary Diane Farrel, USTR Director Ron Baumgarten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for Asia Charles Freeman, and US-ASEAN Business Council President Alexander Feldman.

“The Duterte Administration is transforming the Philippine economy to ensure that jobs are created for all those who wish to work, and to ensure that growth is inclusive and equitable,” Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez also said in a separate statement.

“At the same time, we believe that development partners like the United States can play a dynamic and positive role in helping us transform our economy. I am confident that Undersecretary Rodolfo’s visit this week significantly contributed to the Embassy’s efforts at finding those important synergies with the U.S. Government and business community.”

Group photo of DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo with members of the Economic team of the Philippine Embassy and the US-ASEAN Business Council after their meeting on May 31, 2018.