United States | Secretary Pompeo’s Travel to the Philippines

United States – The U.S.-Philippines alliance is an enduring bond based on our shared history and common interest in a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, rooted in the values of democracy. Secretary Pompeo is traveling to the country to reaffirm U.S. support for this critical treaty ally at a time when the Philippines faces increasingly diverse threats to its security. The United States is committed to working together to promote regional peace and stability, advance mutual prosperity, and nurture ever-stronger people-to-people ties.

An Enduring Alliance with a Treaty Ally

The United States-Philippines alliance is grounded in the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, which serves as a bulwark of peace and stability in the Southeast Asia region.

The Philippines is the largest recipient of U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) in the Indo-Pacific region, totaling more than $335 million over the past five years. These funds help the Philippines monitor and protect its maritime interests in response to China’s destabilizing actions in the South China Sea, while modernizing its equipment, personnel, and security systems.

We continue to support the Philippines’ counterterrorism efforts against ISIS and other terrorist groups, providing more than $60 million in humanitarian assistance and stabilization funding in response to the 2017 Marawi siege. In addition to supporting the Armed Forces of the Philippines in liberating Marawi, U.S. troops continue to advise and assist Philippine operations against ISIS-affiliated terror groups.

Through a $26.5 million program, U.S. civilian counterterrorism support improves the Philippines’ ability to respond to terrorist attacks within a rule of law framework, while enhancing its capacity to curb terrorist recruitment and radicalization, and effectively investigate and prosecute cases of terrorism. For example, U.S.-trained elite law enforcement units responded to the January 27 Jolo cathedral bombing and are assisting with the post-blast investigations.

Growing Mutual Prosperity and Expanding Trade Ties

The Philippines boasts one of the highest economic growth rates in Asia. The United States welcomes the Philippines’ interest in a free-trade agreement and discussions on ways to expand our economic cooperation.

S.-Philippines trade is mutually beneficial. In 2017, the United States was the Philippines fourth-largest import partner, and its second-largest export partner. U.S. companies Convergys, Philip Morris, and Texas Instruments are the largest employer, taxpayer, and exporter in the Philippines, respectively.

Two-way goods and services trade in 2016 totaled $27 billion, supporting more than an estimated 58,000 jobs. President Trump has expanded access for American agricultural and automotive producers by resolving market access issues with the Philippines.
Since 2009, the United States has provided the Philippines more than $46.6 million in disaster preparedness and disaster risk-reduction funding. In 2018, the United States provided $950,000 in emergency shelter, food, and other types of assistance after Typhoon Mangkhut and the Mount Mayon volcanic eruption.
Deep People-to-People Ties Based on Shared Values

The historical and cultural ties between the United States and the Philippines extend back more than a century, and enrich both our nations.

More than four million Filipinos and Filipino-Americans live in the United States, and approximately 400,000 U.S. citizens have made their home in the Philippines.

The Philippines is home to the oldest continuously operating Fulbright Commission, founded in 1948, which has sent more than 3,200 Filipino scholars to the United States and brought more than 1,000 U.S. scholars to the Philippines.

More than 25,000 Filipinos have joined the Department of State’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and actively engage with the Embassy on a range of programs that address local, national, and regional challenges.

The United States is committed to working with the Philippines to advance democracy and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the rule of law. Democracies are our strongest allies; a vibrant civil society and free media are hallmarks of a pluralistic democracy.

The United States supports Philippine efforts to strengthen rule of law by building its capacity to investigate and prosecute crime effectively, efficiently, and transparently. S. assistance provides training and mentoring for law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, as well as institutional development support to professionalize the criminal justice system.

The United States and the Philippines are working together to end drug trafficking and support those with substance-use disorders, in accordance with international human-rights standards. Both nations counter transnational crime and reduce drug demand through prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.

The United States operates several human rights-related programs, including programs to combat human trafficking, child labor, and child sexual exploitation. For example, The Global Fund to End Modern Slavery provides nearly $2.5 million to organizations in the Philippines protecting overseas Filipino workers, particularly domestic workers, educating vulnerable workers to prevent human trafficking.

SOURCE: news provided by STATE.GOV on February 28, 2019.