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Trade war

US sees Philippines as next candidate for FTA

Trump envoy Lighthizer also expects talks with Japan within 30 days

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testifies at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The U.S. is scouting out favorable terrain for free trade agreements and sees the Philippines as possibly the next candidate, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said at a congressional hearing in Washington on Thursday.

"We are close to beginning negotiations," Lighthizer told senators, adding that a number of East Asian countries are interested in an FTA with the U.S. "One that we particularly liked is the Philippines. I think it would be a good first agreement." He noted that the country was in a good location and "there are a lot of advantages."  

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