Fri. Jul 12th, 2024
U.S.-Philippines Relations – United States Department of State

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Philippines in 1946.

U.S.-Philippine relations are based on strong historical and cultural linkages and shared democratic values.  The 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty provides a strong foundation for our robust security partnership.  Vibrant people-to-people ties and strong economic cooperation provide meaningful ways to engage on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.  The U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) is the annual forum for forward planning across the spectrum of our relationship.  The most recent BSD took place in January 2023 when senior Philippine and U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense officials convened in Manila.  Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Defense Austin hosted their Philippine counterparts for a “2+2” ministerial in April 2023, and President Biden hosted President Marcos for a four-day official working visit in early May 2023.

More than four million Filipino Americans live in the United States, and almost 400,000 U.S. citizens reside in the Philippines, including a large number of U.S. military veterans.  Manila is home to the only Veterans Administration regional office outside the United States, and the Manila American Cemetery, run by the American Battle Monuments Commission, is the largest American military cemetery outside the United States.  In 2023, over 900,000 U.S. citizens visited the Philippines.  People-to-people exchange programs between the United States and the Philippines include the longest continuously running Fulbright program in the world, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and the Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative.  The Philippines is home to more than 9,000 Filipino alumni of U.S. exchange programs; 1,000 U.S. citizens have participated in U.S. exchange programs in the Philippines.

U.S. Assistance to Philippines

For the past 60 years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has worked with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve shared development goals, investing more than $5 billion to support the Philippines since 1961. The United States is among the largest bilateral donors to the Philippines. USAID invests approximately $120 million annually to promote inclusive, market-driven growth; foster strong democratic systems and economic governance; promote responsible natural resource management; and improve access to and quality of education and health services. The United States has had a Peace Corps program in the Philippines for over 50 years.  

Over the last decade, disaster relief and recovery has become a vital area of assistance to the Philippines. The U.S. government strengthens communities’ ability to respond to and recover from disasters, as well as improve their capacity to withstand future calamities. Since 2010, USAID has provided more than $370 million in disaster relief and boosted the disaster risk reduction capacity of over 100 cities and municipalities. This includes relief and recovery efforts after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda devastated the country in 2013 and after Super Typhoon Rai/Odette made landfall in 2021. As the largest humanitarian donor in the Philippines, USAID implements robust early recovery, risk reduction, and resilience programs and coordinates with the Philippine government, local communities, and non-governmental organizations to help vulnerable populations prepare for and respond to disasters.       

As the largest humanitarian donor in the Philippines, USAID implements robust early recovery, risk reduction, and resilience programs and coordinates with the Philippine government, local communities, and non-governmental organizations to help vulnerable populations prepare for and respond to disasters. 

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and the Philippines have a strong trade and investment relationship, with $22.6 billion in total goods trade during 2023 and an estimated $10.6 billion in trade in services in 2022 (latest data available).  The United States is the Philippines’ largest export market and is one of the country’s largest foreign investors.  Key U.S. imports from the Philippines include semiconductor devices and computer peripherals, automobile parts, electric machinery, textiles and garments, wheat and animal feeds, coconut oil, and information technology/business process outsourcing services.  Key U.S. exports to the Philippines are agriculture goods, machinery, cereals, raw and semi-processed materials for the manufacture of semiconductors, electronics, and transport equipment.

The United States partnered with the Philippines in November 2023 to explore opportunities to grow and diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem under the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, created by the CHIPS Act of 2022. In March 2024, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo led the first-of-its-kind Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines – bringing 22 U.S. companies to explore commercial opportunities.  The United States and the Philippines will co-host the Indo-Pacific Business Forum on May 21. The two countries have a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, signed in 1989, and a tax treaty.  The United States and the Philippines are also working to expand cooperation in clean and renewable energy, including civil nuclear cooperation.  In May 2022, the Philippines and the United States joined 12 other partners to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). The United States and the Philippines look forward to strengthening our economic partnership on these initiatives and more through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment- IPEF Investment Accelerator.

The Philippines’ Membership in International Organizations

The United States and the Philippines work together in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and in other international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.  The Philippines served as chair and host of ASEAN for 2017 and will do so again in 2026.  The United States strongly supports Philippine government efforts to fully implement the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS