Last week, the President of the Philippines along with several other officials visited the United States in an effort on both sides to expand the alliance between the countries. Both countries have a vested interest in growing their relationship in regard to defense and also trade. Recently, the Philippines credit rating was upgraded by Moody’s, improving its international image and making the country more attractive for foreign investment.
The US and the Philippines have a strategic partnership that benefits both in different ways, here’s why:
- The once robust manufacturing industry in the Philippines is losing out in exports to the US in key industries to more cost-competitive developing countries like Cambodia and Vietnam
- The US wants to increase its partnerships and presence in East Asia to counter-balance the growing power of China
Both countries have much to gain from a stronger alliance. The Philippines can offer the US opportunity for a larger military presence in the region, and the US can offer the Philippines preferential trade agreements to reinvigorate their export industries.
This is good news for the Philippines’ manufacturing industries because the US remains the major market for Southeast Asian exports. During the Philippines’ President’s visit to Washington, agreements like the SAVE Act and the Trans-Pacific Partnership were discussed at length and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced her support of the proposal. Lighter barriers to trade between the two countries will no doubt increase business for suppliers in the Philippines. Look for this partnership to become integral in the development of the United States’ presence in East Asia.