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PH pushes critical minerals accord with US ahead of Raimondo’s visit

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The Philippines and the United States are in talks for a critical minerals agreement (CMA) ahead of the highly anticipated trade and investment mission to the Philippines led by US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on March 11 and 12, 2024.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said in a briefing Tuesday organized by the United States-Philippines Society (USPS) that the Philippines’ capacity to supply good-grade rare earth metals would provide a solid negotiating platform to push the proposal.

“That is one of the many things that we are coordinating with the United States because we would like to be able to export many of our critical minerals, specifically nickel, but we do not have processing plants here,” Romualdez said.

He noted that the US remains concerned about China’s dominance in the country’s nickel output. “Hopefully in the months ahead, we would be able to have some kind of clear indication of what kind of agreement we have [with them],” Romualdez said.

He also mentioned that the Philippines would benefit from the Critical Minerals Act of the US.

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The USPS is holding its annual three-day board meeting in the Philippines, led by former US ambassadors to the Philippines John Negroponte and Thomas Hubbard. Negroponte serves as the society’s co-chair alongside Philippine counterpart Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

The board comprises private sector leaders from both countries with long-standing records of advocating for a strong, vibrant, broadly based, and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship.

The core two-day program on Feb. 26 to 27 will review key economic and business issues, as well as areas of security and foreign policy cooperation, reflecting the top priorities of the two governments.

The society acknowledges that renewed bilateral investment promotion initiatives and people-to-people exchanges are sustaining a vibrant Philippines-US relationship that benefits both countries.

The meeting will also serve as a preview of the upcoming Presidential Trade and Investment Mission and the May Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Manila in March.

Headquartered in Washington D.C., the society is entering its 12th year of service. Its mission is to enhance and strengthen the Philippines-US relationship through programs on business, governance, culture, shared history, education, among others.

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