Biden to meet Marcos at White House on May 1

April 21, 2023 - 9:16 AM
Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden convenes the fourth virtual leader-level meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) on Energy and Climate at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2023. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
  • Treaty allies to reaffirm partnership —Philippines presidential office
  • Two leaders to discuss economic cooperation —White House
  • Marcos’ second trip to U.S. since September

WASHINGTON/MANILA — U.S. President Joe Biden will meet his Philippine counterpart Ferdinand Marcos Jr at the White House on May 1 to discuss economic cooperation and the Indo-Pacific region, Manila and Washington said on Friday.

The treaty allies have enjoyed warmer ties since Marcos took office last June, reversing his predecessor’s anti-U.S. stance.

Next month’s bilateral talks will be the latest in a series of high-level meetings the Philippines has conducted with leaders of the United States and China, both of which are jostling for strategic advantage in the region.

Biden and Marcos will discuss economic and defense cooperation, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

“During the visit, President Biden will reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines, and the leaders will discuss efforts to strengthen the longstanding U.S.-Philippines alliance,” the statement said.

In what will be his second trip to the United States in less than a year, the presidential palace said on Friday that Marcos will travel to Washington from April 30 to May 4 to meet Biden and key cabinet officials.

“It will substantively progress efforts to further deepen… political ties, to bring about lasting socio-economic partnerships, as well as to enhance defense and security cooperation,” the palace said.

Marcos will seek closer partnership in agriculture, energy, climate change, digital transformation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supply chains, and infrastructure, it added.

More than 17,000 Philippine and U.S. soldiers are currently conducting their largest ever joint military drills in the Southeast Asian country, drawing criticism from China.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will meet his local counterpart and Marcos on Saturday, just weeks after the Philippines gave the United States access to four additional military bases.

In March, the Philippines hosted a meeting between Manila and Beijing’s diplomats to discuss the South China Sea, a key trade corridor that’s also a source of tensions between the two countries.

Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington and Costas Pitas and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Additional Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor