Amid the food crisis brought by the pandemic and the protracted war between Russia and Ukraine, the United States is optimistic that the trade relations between them and the Philippines will be more productive this year, as they anticipate more exports from us.
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service administrator Daniel Whitley told reporters that, “Our products are safe and we think, without any unfair trade barriers, we can increase our exports.”
Whitley, who arrived in Manila on July 18, along with representatives from 29 different US agribusiness and farm organizations and 10 state departments of agriculture interested in export opportunities in the Philippines, said that the US was “especially optimistic” about USDA’s projections of farm exports to the Philippines, which could hit $3.8 billion this year.
“Obviously, we talked about value [or] prices [which] have been somewhat high, but demand has not really fallen off so we do think that those projections would hold true,” Whitley said.
In his trade mission to the Philippines, Whitley will lead memoranda of understanding signing to start a USDA-funded program for African Swine Fever prevention in the country, deepening ties between the province of Batangas and US state departments of agriculture, and between the US Grains Council and Mariano Marcos State University for sustainable 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,” said Whitley.
“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,” Whitley further pointed out.
The Philippines is the eighth-largest food importer of US goods and other agricultural products, with agricultural trades between the two countries amounting to an estimated $3.2 billion in 2020. The country primarily imports from the US soybean meal, wheat, dairy products, pork and pork products, and food preparations.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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