US and Singapore ink memorandum to improve trade relations

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Tuesday (Dec 15) announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding to improve trade relations with Singapore, as both countries eye economic recoveries following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The United States is already the largest foreign investor in Singapore, which is in turn the fourth-largest Asian investor in the American economy. In a statement, the US Commerce Department said the renewable, two-year memorandum would “enhance the availability of and access to trade financing options for US and Singapore companies.”

“This (memorandum of understanding) will help Singapore importers finance the purchase of US exports and support Singapore investors looking at opportunities in the US,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the statement.

The agreement made in the final weeks of US President Donald Trump’s administration comes after Singapore last week signed a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom following Britain’s departure from the European Union.

“As like-minded partners, Singapore and the US are committed to supporting our businesses as they respond to the global economic disruptions caused by Covid-19,” Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said.

The United States is struggling with the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, with deaths topping 300,000, while Singapore has recorded about 58,000 infections and 29 deaths.

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