Today, Vice President Kamala Harris met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines on the margins of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco, California. They reaffirmed the strength of the alliance between the United States and the Philippines and discussed ongoing efforts to deepen our security ties and expand commercial and economic cooperation. They also reiterated their shared commitment to upholding international rules and norms, including in the South China Sea.
This is the fifth meeting between the Vice President and President Marcos, and builds on their previous meetings, including: the Vice President’s visit to Manila in November 2022; the Vice President hosting President Marcos at the Naval Observatory in May 2023; a bilateral meeting on the margins of the East Asia Summit in Jakarta in September 2023; and a trilateral meeting with Prime Minister Kishida in Jakarta in September 2023.
The Vice President and President Marcos discussed strengthening and broadening economic cooperation bilaterally and through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. The Vice President and President Marcos also welcomed the conclusion of a historic “123” civil nuclear cooperation agreement, which will deepen our partnership to build a global clean energy economy and strengthen our shared commitment to improving energy security and advancing the global nonproliferation regime. The Vice President announced the launch of the “123” agreement negotiations while in Manila in November 2022 and welcomed the swift conclusion of these negotiations. This agreement will provide the legal basis for U.S. exports of nuclear equipment and material to the Philippines, which will support American workers and businesses. The Vice President also announced a new partnership with the Government of the Philippines to grow and diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem under the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, created by the CHIPS Act of 2022. This partnership will help create a more resilient, secure, and sustainable global semiconductor value chain.
The Vice President and President Marcos welcomed the historic momentum in U.S.-Philippines ties and emphasized their shared intent to grow and modernize our alliance. The Vice President reiterated the United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder in defending the Philippines’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the South China Sea and reaffirmed the United States’ defense commitment to the Philippines under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, underscoring that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments.
The Vice President also emphasized the importance of respect for human rights and labor rights, including safety for trade union leaders.