It is well known that the relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines is strained to say the least. This tension between the countries stems from a variety of issues, mainly differences in opinion on how each government is run, and the allies each country chooses to associate with. Even with such a rocky relationship, the U.S. continues to spend foreign aid on the Philippines. This is not only because they have been a longstanding ally of the U.S., but also because the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to the Philippines. These benefits come in many different forms and work for both countries.
A Strong Ally
One of the main reasons for foreign aid is that the U.S. sees the Philippines as a strong partner for trade and economic growth. Much of the aid given to the Philippines goes to increasing the economic growth and trade abilities of the country. Although the two countries are already strong economic partners, the U.S. being one the Philippines’ largest trading partners, promoting the growth of trade and increasing the power of the country’s economic capabilities benefits both countries economically.
To put this relationship into perspective, in 2017 there was $9.35 billion worth of trade between the two countries, but it was a slower year than usual. As of 2012, the average amount of trade between the two countries has been around $14.17 billion per year. The main commodity traded between the countries is electronics, the U.S.’ second biggest import is fresh fruit, and the Philippines’ is transport.
A Powerful Investment (and Investor)
The second way that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to the Philippines is equally connected to the economic status of both countries — investment. Whether aid goes directly to investing in businesses or U.S. investments benefit from aid indirectly, this fiscal back-and-forth improves the economic growth and abilities of businesses in the Philippines which then, in turn, benefits its investors.
The U.S. is, in fact, one of the largest foreign investors in the Philippines. So as aid helps improve the economy and capabilities of businesses, the U.S. benefits just as much as the Philippines.
A Hub for Foreign Aid
Foreign aid also works as a way to strengthen the currently unstable relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines. The more both countries are able to work together and aid one another, the stronger the alliance between them grows.
The U.S. has designated the Philippines as a major non-NATO ally, and keeping this alliance together, with the help of foreign aid, benefits the U.S. both geographically and politically. The Philippines could be a valuable military ally of the U.S. if the need ever arises, and the nation also works as a diplomatic ally, whether through the alliances the Philippines holds with countries the U.S. does not, or from connections made through trade and economics.
The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to the Philippines both directly and indirectly. Not only does aid strengthen the relationship between both countries and provide a valuable political ally in the east, but it also benefits both countries through trade and investment.
– Keegan Struble