U.S. Relations With the Philippines
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.
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 U.S. citizens of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 220,000 U.S. citizens in the Philippines, including a large presence of United States veterans. An estimated 650,000 U.S. citizens visit the Philippines each year. Many people-to-people programs exist between the United States and the Philippines, including Fulbright, International Visitor Leadership Program, and the Kenney-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program.
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 American military cemetery outside the United States.
U.S. Assistance to Philippines
The U.S. government’s goal in the Philippines is to partner with the country to 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. The United States has provided over $143 million in assistance to date to the people of the Philippines in relief and recovery efforts after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda devastated the country in 2013. The United States continues to support long-term reconstruction and rebuilding efforts.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and the Philippines have a strong trade and investment relationship, with over $25 billion in goods and services traded. The United States is one of the largest foreign investors in the Philippines, and is the Philippines’ third-largest trading partner. 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 imports from the Philippines 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. Key U.S. exports to the Philippines are machinery, cereals, raw and semi-processed materials for the manufacture of semiconductors, electronics, and transport equipment. The two countries have a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, signed in 1989, and a tax treaty.
The Embassy is working to advance several key Environment, Science, Technology, and Health issues. The Philippines is an important partner on climate change and submitted an “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) prior to the December 2015 COP 21 meetings in Paris. USAID is providing key technical assistance to help ensure the Philippines’ INDC is meaningful and science-based.
Philippines's Membership in International Organizations
The Philippines and the United States belong to a many of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The Philippines is also an observer to the Organization of American States. The Philippines serves as chair and host of ASEAN for 2017.
The U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines is Sung Y. Kim; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
The 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 Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Philippines Page
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