Ambassador Sarah Bianchi had a productive visit to Manila, Philippines, and Seoul, Korea. Ambassador Bianchi used these visits to discuss the importance of reaching a high standard agreement under the Trade Pillar of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
In Manila, Ambassador Bianchi met with Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Department of Labor and Employment Undersecretary Ernesto Bitonio Jr., and Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Perry Rodolfo. During these meetings, Ambassador Bianchi thanked the Philippines for their positive and constructive engagement in IPEF negotiations and highlighted the importance of the U.S. – Philippines Trade and Investment Framework. She also stressed the importance promoting worker-centered trade and discussed the newly formed Philippine Interagency Committee on Labor. During the visit, she also met with private sector stakeholders.
In Seoul, Ambassador Bianchi met with Korean government officials, including Trade Minister Ahn Duk-Geun and Deputy Minister Joo Young-june among others. She used these meetings to thank the Republic of Korea for its strong support for the IPEF, including hosting the forthcoming negotiating round in Busan. During these meetings, the two sides discussed our joint efforts to make swift progress on IPEF. She raised the importance of reaching a high-standard commitments on labor and environment in the IPEF. Ambassador Bianchi also highlighted the importance and strength of the U.S.-ROK relationship, which is underpinned by the U.S.-ROK Free Trade Agreement. During the meeting, Ambassador Bianchi raised bilateral issues and discussed supply chain resilience and economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. During the visit, she also met with private sector stakeholders.