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American senator eyes battery manufacturing agreement in PH, cites reliable, long-standing Ph-US relations

Ph-US relations

The Philippines and the United States can collaborate for the production of electronic vehicle batteries to meet the huge demand of the American market, US Senator Tammy Duckworth said on Tuesday.

Duckworth, who met President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during a courtesy call in Malacañan Palace, also shared her conversation with Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla about the United States’ transition to renewable energy sources as well as its current challenges.

“So, for example, we’ve discussed at length about electronic vehicle batteries and we can’t get enough of them to meet the American market. And I can’t think of a better place to create a new manufacturing ecosystem for the American market than here in the Philippines where we can work together to supply that market so that we can continue to make our switch to renewables as well. And there are many other places where we can work together,” Duckworth told President Marcos.

“And again, I would rather have America’s manufacturing supply chain rest here in a nation that has been a long-time friend and ally, than in a nation that is our adversary or our competitor. And so, I think there are lots of opportunities and we had a really productive meeting.”

The President replied that with the renewable energy sources such as solar and wind that rely on nature and are not constant, this is where batteries become very important.

He said the Philippines has great potential for battery manufacturing considering the presence of mineral deposits that are necessary elements for battery production.

“We have nickel, we have bauxite, we have cobalt. And so, the idea of manufacturing….has shown more and more potential, the more we study it,” Marcos told the American legislator.

“And, so this is what we are hoping to develop here. Not just — we will have a demand locally for these batteries but not just for the local demand but also for sale to other countries and for other markets. That is certainly something that we have been pushing very hard for in terms of developing the capabilities.”

The President also delved on the long-standing ties between the Philippines and the US and the need to strengthen further the relationship.

“I think we must continue to promote and to hopefully make even stronger and deeper and especially with the volatility that we are observing in geopolitics, especially in our region, but not limited to our region but all over the world, is something that we need to find new responses for and to take new positions for,” he said.

Marcos said he is happy to welcome Duckworth in the Philippines having seen her work in previous years supporting Filipinos who now live and work in the United States.

Duckworth (Democrat-Illinois), is a member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, the Environment & Public Works Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee.

A meeting with Duckworth presented an opportunity for the Philippines to raise the importance of US legislative support for common security and trade interests, including through enhanced assistance towards the modernization of the Philippines’ defense and civilian law enforcement capabilities, the immediate reauthorization of the GSP program, and the facilitation of other strategic trade and investment opportunities. | PND

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