#USPHThrivingAt75: Celebrating 75 Years of U.S.-Philippines Diplomatic Relations

The United States and the Philippines signed the Treaty of Manila on July 4, 1946, recognizing the independence of the Philippines.  The United States established diplomatic relations with the Philippines on the same day when American Ambassador Paul V. McNutt presented his credentials.

U.S.-Philippines relations are founded on strong historical and cultural linkages and a shared commitment to democracy and human rights.  The 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, formalized our robust security partnership, an alliance forged on the battlefield in World War II.

Strong people-to-people and economic ties form the bedrock of bilateral cooperation.  We engage on these issues continuously, including through the U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, a forum for forward planning across the spectrum of our relationship.

A multitude of programs aim to strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and the Philippines, including the longest continuously-running Fulbright program in the world, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.  This year, we also mark the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps volunteer program in the Philippines.

The United States is proud to be one of the largest economic partners of the Philippines, serving as the country’s third largest trading partner with a two-way trade of $16 billion and third largest source of net FDI inflows at $161 million in 2020.  American firms are the largest electronics and semi-conductor exporters in the country and serve as some of the largest private employers.  The American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines has over 600 members and is one of the oldest business chambers in the world, with U.S. firms like Citibank, Ford, and Bank of America operating in the Philippines since the early 1900s.

There are more than four million U.S. citizens of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 350,000 U.S. citizens in the Philippines, including a large number of United States military veterans.

The American Cemetery in Manila is the largest American military cemetery outside the United States, serving as the final resting place for over 17,000 U.S. and Philippine servicemen and women.


Assistance and Partnerships

Over the years, the United States has consistently partnered with the Philippines to create economic opportunities for both countries, bolster joint military capacity and readiness, and advance shared education and development goals.  For example:

  • As of October 2020, total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines amounted to more than Php1.1 billion ($23.4 million). The United States is also the largest contributor to the COVAX vaccine facility with $2 billion of an eventual $4 billion commitment donated, of which the Philippines is a beneficiary.  (Fact Sheet)
  • The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region. Since 2015, the United States has delivered more than Php36.9 billion ($771.7 million) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment and training to the Philippines. (More information)
  • The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, partners with the Philippines to drive inclusive economic growth, promote peace and stability, and build self-reliance by strengthening the Philippines’s ability to plan, finance and implement its own development solutions. Over the past 20 years alone, the United States has provided nearly Php228.8 billion ($4.5 billion) in total assistance.  (https://www.usaid.gov/philippines).

U.S. Chiefs of Mission for the Philippines

To date, there have been 28 U.S. Chiefs of Mission since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Name Title Date of Assignment
Paul Vories McNutt Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary July 4, 1946–March 22, 1947
Emmet O’Neal Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary September 22, 1947–April 28, 1948
Myron Melvin Cowen Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary May 23, 1949–October 14, 1951
Raymond Ames Spruance Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary February 7, 1952–April 1, 1955
Homer Ferguson Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary April 12, 1955–March 23, 1956
Albert Frank Nufer Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary July 20, 1956–November 6, 1956
Charles Eustis Bohlen Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary June 4, 1957–October 15, 1959
John Dewey Hickerson Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary January 13, 1960–December 8, 1961
William Edwards Stevenson Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary February 5, 1962–June 14, 1964
William McCormick Blair Jr. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary August 5, 1964–October 21, 1967
Gerhard Mennen Williams Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary June 17, 1968–April 7, 1969
Henry Alfred Byroade Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary August 29, 1969–May 25, 1973
William Healy Sullivan Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary August 6, 1973–April 26, 1977
David Dunlap Newsom Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary November 11, 1977–March 30, 1978
Richard William Murphy Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary June 8, 1978–August 10, 1981
Michael Hayden Armacost Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary March 12, 1982–April 18, 1984
Stephen Warren Bosworth Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary May 4, 1984–April 2, 1987
Nicholas Platt Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary August 27, 1987–July 20, 1991
Frank G. Wisner II Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary August 16, 1991–June 10, 1992
Richard H. Solomon Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary September 4, 1992–March 1, 1993
John Dimitri Negroponte Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary October 26, 1993–August 5, 1996
Thomas C. Hubbard Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary September 3, 1996–July 24, 2000
Michael E. Malinowski Chargé d’Affaires ad interim July 2000–September 2001
Francis Joseph Ricciardone Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary May 15, 2002–April 1, 2005
Kristie Ann Kenney Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary March 22, 2006–July 28, 2009
Harry Keels Thomas Jr. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary April 27, 2010–October 16, 2013
Philip S. Goldberg Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary December 2, 2013–October 28, 2016
Sung Y. Kim Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary December 6, 2016–October 4, 2020
John C. Law Chargé d’Affaires ad interim October 5, 2020 – Present

 

Sources:

  • U.S. Relations with the Philippines (state.gov)
  • A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Philippines (state.gov)
  • Chiefs of Mission for Philippines (history.state.gov)