Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
January 31, 2014


More information about Philippines is available on the Philippines Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-PHILIPPINES RELATIONS

The United States recognized the Philippines as an independent state and established diplomatic relations with it in 1946. Except for the 1942-45 Japanese occupation during World War II, the Philippines had been under U.S. administration since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898.

The U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue advances discussion and cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues. U.S.-Philippine relations are based on strong historical and cultural links and a shared commitment to democracy and human rights. The United States has designated the Philippines as a Major Non-NATO Ally, and there are close and abiding security ties between the two nations. The Manila Declaration signed in 2011 reaffirmed the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty as the foundation for a robust, balanced, and responsive security partnership. There is also a focus on economic, commercial, and people-to-people ties. There are an estimated four million Americans of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 300,000 U.S. citizens in the Philippines, including a large presence of United States veterans. An estimated 600,000 Americans visit the Philippines each year. Many people-to-people programs exist between the United States and the Philippines, including Fulbright, International Visitors, and Aquino Fellowship exchange programs.

Manila is home to the only VA benefits office and healthcare clinic outside the United States and the American Cemetery in Manila is the largest military cemetery outside the U.S.

U.S. Assistance to Philippines

The U.S. Government’s goal in the Philippines is to help the country become a stable and prosperous nation. The 2011 Partnership for Growth Statement of Principles reinforced a shared interest in promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the Philippines. U.S. assistance to the Philippines fosters broad-based economic growth; improves the health and education of Filipinos; promotes peace and security; advances democratic values, good governance, and human rights; and strengthens regional and global partnerships. Department of State, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao aim to strengthen the foundation for peace and stability in the area. U.S. assistance, including from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, seeks to intensify cooperation through a whole-of-government approach, using a wide range of assistance and other foreign policy tools. 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 also become an increasingly important area of assistance to the Philippines.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is among the Philippines’ top trading partners, and it traditionally has been the Philippines' largest foreign investor. The Philippines has been among the largest beneficiaries of the Generalized System of Preferences program for developing countries, which provides preferential duty-free access to the U.S. market. Key exports to the United States are 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.

In addition to other goods, the Philippines imports raw and semi-processed materials for the manufacture of semiconductors, electronics and electrical machinery, transport equipment, and cereals and cereal preparations. The two countries have a bilateral trade and investment framework agreement and a tax treaty.

Philippines's Membership in International Organizations

Philippines and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Philippines also is an observer to the Organization of American States.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Philippines is Philip S. Goldberg.; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Philippines maintains an embassy in the United States at 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-467-9300).

More information about Philippines is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Philippines Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Philippines Page
U.S. Embassy: Philippines
USAID Philippines Page
History of U.S. Relations With Philippines
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

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