As President Barack Obama ended his week-long tour of Asia in the Philippines on Tuesday, the country's Secretary of Trade & Industry told CNBC that the Philippines is eager to join the TPP.
Following Obama's talk with Filipino President Beningo Aquino, headlines focused on a military pact announced on Monday. The pact will grant a larger presence for U.S. forces, boosting the Philippines' maritime security; though it was stressed the pact was not aimed at countering China's military strength.
However, Gregory Domingo, Secretary of Trade & Industry for the Philippines, told CNBC that trade was another a key topic of conversation, noting discussions about the country joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) had progressed.
"The Philippines will work to ascertain [that] our participation in TPP can be realized. The U.S. and other TPP members have offered to assist us in this assessment," he said.
The U.S.-led TPP is a free-trade agreement under negotiation by 12 countries and aims to eliminate trade barriers between countries and boost global trade.