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03/12/2010: Foreign Affairs Secretary Romulo and Ambassador Gaa Meet with U.S. Legislators

Shown above (left to right) is Secretary Romulo meeting with Sen. Inouye (D-HI), Sen. Bond (R-MO), Sen. Webb (D-VA), Rep. Hirono (D-HI), Rep. Berman (D-CA), Rep. Faleomavaega (D-GU), Rep. Thompson (D-CA) and Sen. Ensign (R-NV).

December 03, 2010, Washington D.C. - Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa met with key American legislators during the former’s visit to Washington, D.C.  The U.S. officials included Senator Daniel Inouye, who is Senate President Pro-Tempore and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, Senator John Ensign of Nevada, Representatives Howard Berman, Bob Filner and Mike Thompson of California, Representative Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa, and Representative Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

Among the issues raised during the discussions were several bills pending in U.S. Congress, which would benefit Filipinos.  The Save Our Industries Act is a trade initiative that would grant duty-free perks on Philippine garment exports processed from U.S.-made fabrics, and reduced tariffs on those that use U.S.-made yarns.  The Family Reunification Bill would exempt children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas.  And, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act ("DREAM Act") would provide certain illegal and deportable alien students, who graduate from U.S. high schools, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning.

The meetings also afforded Secretary Romulo the opportunity to brief the legislators about the program of the Aquino administration as well as recent developments in the Philippines.  Views were likewise exchanged on a variety of regional and international issues.

Secretary Romulo and Ambassador Gaa were accompanied by the Embassy’s legislative, political and economic officers. END