Joint Statement on the Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue – United States Department of State

The following statement was issued jointly by the United States and the Philippines on the occasion of the successful completion of 11th Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC:

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Senior Philippine and US officials gathered in Washington on April 22 and 23 for the 11th Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD). First held in 2011, the BSD serves as the main annual forum for both our countries to: discuss the full range of political, security and economic cooperation; Exchange views on current challenges and strategic priorities; and identify new collaborative initiatives.

Both sides recalled the milestones of the intervening year, reflecting their shared dedication to further promoting the bilateral partnership and alliance. These include: two meetings between President Biden and Marcos; United States and Defense Ministerial Dialogue (“2+2 Ministerial”); US Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines; a tripartite ministerial; and a leader-level trilateral summit with Japan, as well as inaugural bilateral talks on food security and energy policy.

In keeping with Presidents Marcos and Biden’s “shared vision of partnership, peace and prosperity”, the two sides recommitted themselves to cooperation:

Expanding the breadth of partnerships. Both sides reiterated their pledge to work together to address global and regional challenges in support of a free, secure and open Indo-Pacific. Underscoring the importance of continued dialogue to ensure cooperation on issues of mutual interest, both sides committed in 2024 to:

  • Hold the fourth “2+2” ministerial dialogue;
  • Convening the Inaugural Joint Committee Meeting under the US-Philippines Science and Technology Agreement;
  • Establishing the Roles, Mission and Capabilities (RMC) Working Group to replace the Defense and Security Working Group;
  • Establishing an inaugural bilateral dialogue on cyber-digital, space and democracy; And
  • Deepen cooperation on countering foreign information manipulation.

Modernization of alliance cooperation. The Philippines and the United States reiterated the importance of the security alliance and shared commitments under the Mutual Defense Treaty in an increasingly complex security environment. They committed to establish a new framework for alliance communication and coordination, enhance operational cooperation and interoperability in the maritime domain, including with like-minded partners, and accelerate capability development. Building on historic progress in defense relations, including the unprecedented scope and scale of this year’s Exercise Balikatan, a joint exercise with Japan and Australia in the South China Sea, and monthly bilateral maritime cooperation activities, both sides committed to further defend and security cooperation by continuing discussions with a view to:

  • Completion of the bilateral Philippines – Security Sector Assistance Roadmap (P-SSAR);
  • Connecting the sites and implementing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) are being fully finalized, which includes DOD’s $128 million investment for infrastructure as part of the President’s FY 2025 budget Is;
  • Preparation of USAID disaster relief items for Philippine civilian disaster response officials at key EDCA sites;
  • Concluding the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) by the end of 2024; And
  • Expanding multilateral cooperation with like-minded countries, including maritime cooperative activities, bilateral and multilateral exercises and security cooperation coordination.

Promoting the international law-based maritime order. Reiterating their shared commitment to a maritime order based on international law, both sides called on the PRC to align its maritime claims in the South China Sea with the international law of the sea, as reflected in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Has gone. Sea (the “Convention”), to respect the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines, to comply with the final and binding award of 12 July 2016 in the Philippines v. China arbitration, and to cease its aggressive and dangerous actions which are inconsistent with its obligations under the Convention, including unlawful interference with the Philippines’ freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Both sides recognized the importance of maintaining peace and security in the maritime domain, including transit routes for foreign merchant and commercial vessels, and called for the safe and immediate return of Filipino seafarers affected by the crisis in the Red Sea.

The US and Philippine governments decided:

  • Convening the 3rd Maritime Dialogue in Manila in September/October 2024 and building on the outcomes of previous negotiations and meetings of the countries;
  • Explore additional opportunities to strengthen global support for upholding the international law of the sea;
  • Deepen cooperation to strengthen efforts to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, in line with relevant international law and voluntary guidelines; and Consider and develop procedures and protocols on cooperative maritime law enforcement operations, in accordance with international law and our respective national laws.

Advancing our common prosperity, protecting our common planet. Both sides emphasized that our partnership must continue to benefit our people and future generations alike. They welcomed the ongoing partnership on civil nuclear cooperation and the work to advance best practices in strategic trade management and clean and renewable energy transition, taking into account the signature of the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. They recognized the important results made under the US 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Host Year and progress under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), particularly through the implementation and conclusion of the Supply Chain Agreement. From. Clean Economy and Fair Economy Agreement. The Philippines welcomed the development of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Program and the commitment of the United States to consider the Philippines for the Compact Program based on updated data later this year. The two sides agreed to develop the Luzon Economic Corridor under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investments (PGI)-IPEF Investment Accelerator to support connectivity between Subic Bay, Clark, Manila and Batangas and investments in rail, port modernization, clean energy, Expressed commitment to move forward. semiconductor supply chain, and agribusiness. Both sides also discussed opportunities for further collaboration on critical minerals processing, digital upskilling and semiconductor supply chains under the CHIPS Act and in collaboration with USAID. Both sides exchanged views on approaches to addressing economic vulnerabilities and strengthening private sector partnerships, recognizing the imperative of increasing economic growth in both countries. They also shared priorities for the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Manila on May 21, which will be sponsored by the US Government in partnership with the Government of the Philippines.

Strengthening multilateral cooperation. Both sides discussed their respective and shared multilateral priorities, identifying opportunities for closer cooperation in the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations. They stressed the importance of strengthening a free, secure and open international order based on the rule of law and respecting the United Nations Charter as the foundation of cooperation among nations. Both sides:

  • Underlines the urgent need to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Strongly opposed any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State;
  • Reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait; And
  • Committed to pursuing a free, secure and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive, prosperous, secure and based on international law, and which protects shared principles, including territorial integrity; sovereignty; sovereign rights and jurisdiction; and peaceful resolution of disputes.

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