Manila, Philippines – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today met with Philippine Secretary of Labor and Employment Bienvenido “Benny” Laguesma and discussed opportunities to strengthen the important partnership between the two countries and enhance labor standards in the global economy. United States Ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson, also attended the meeting.
Ambassador Tai thanked Secretary Laguesma for the Philippines constructive engagement in the development of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), including high-standard labor provisions that support workers across the region. She noted the importance of protecting workers and organizers against violence and the importance of freedom of association and exercising the right to collectively bargain.
Ambassador Tai and Secretary Laguesma also discussed the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers meeting in Detroit, Michigan next month, and the opportunity to develop trade policies that unlock inclusive and sustainable economic prosperity for all of the people in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ambassador Tai and Secretary Laguesma also highlighted the importance of the U.S. – Philippines Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA), the first TIFA in Southeast Asia. They agreed to remain in contact in the future.