Finally, we will examine the areas covered by the free trade agreement and how the Philippines could formulate its negotiating position in order to maximize the benefits of the concessions it must grant in exchange. The contributions of companies will be of paramount importance in this area, in particular to increase the relevance of the agreement for them. The workshop aims to give government and business a clearer understanding of the issues at stake that are needed to gain business and public support to move the process forward. MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines will begin negotiations for a free trade agreement with the United States in September, its ambassador in Washington said on Thursday to expand market access for its agricultural products. A 1947 military base agreement granted the United States a 99-year lease for a number of Philippine military and naval bases where the United States had virtually territorial rights.  In August 1951, a Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) was signed between representatives of the Philippines and the United States. The comprehensive agreement contained eight articles and dictated that the two nations would support each other if the Philippines or the United States were attacked by an outside party. An amendment to the basic agreement in 1966 reduced the term from 99 years to 25 years.  In 1979, after two years of negotiations, the fundamental agreement was renewed with some modifications.  President Arroyo has repeatedly stressed the close friendship between the Philippines and the United States and their desire to further develop bilateral relations. The two governments have attempted to revive and strengthen their partnership by working to strengthen security, prosperity and service to Filipinos and Americans. President Arroyo, who was appointed on the same day as President Bush, has strongly supported the global war on terror.
In October 2003, the United States designated the Philippines as an important non-NATO ally. In the same month, the Philippines joined the selected group of countries that have ratified all 12 UN counter-terrorism conventions. Philippines – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement The Philippines and Japan concluded a free trade agreement in 2008. PJEPA is the only bilateral free trade agreement between the Philippines, which includes, among others, trade in goods, trade in services, investment, transportation of natural persons, intellectual property, customs procedures, improvement of the business environment and government procurement. . . .