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US removes Philippines from piracy watch list after 20 years

Published on Apr 29, 2014 5:26 PM

MANILA (REUTERS) - The United States said it has removed the Philippines from its piracy watch list after two decades following significant reforms put in place by Manila, raising prospects for increased trade and investment between the two allies.

The announcement, posted on the website of the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on April 28, came during the first state visit of US President Barack Obama in the Philippines, the United States' oldest ally in the Asia-Pacific region.

In its statement, the USTR said the Southeast Asian country, which had been consistently on the watch list since 1994 and was first listed in 1989, had undertaken in recent years "significant legislative and regulatory reforms" to protect and enforce intellectual property rights rules.

Officials said the USTR decision would boost investor confidence in the Philippines. The US is among of the country's top three trading partners.

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