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17/01/2013: Chairman Royce to Secretary Del Rosario: US Committed to Strong PH-US Alliance

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-004-2013
17 January 2013

17 January 2013 - Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario met with Representative Ed Royce who was recently appointed as the Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs on January 15.

Secretary del Rosario took the opportunity to personally congratulate Representative Royce on his new important portfolio in the US Congress.

During the meeting, Representative Royce reiterated his commitment to a strong alliance between the Philippines and the United States.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., who was also at the meeting, said that Secretary del Rosario and Chairman Royce renewed their commitment to promoting the historic and vital relationship between the two countries. They also noted the large population of Filipino Americans in the United States, particularly in the congressman’s congressional district, and the common ideals of democracy that the two countries uphold.

“I don’t believe any sequestration or budget reduction would have any marked impact on US engagement in Asia, particularly in bolstering security and military alliances. Asia represents half of the global economy. We need to keep the peace and keep the shipping lines open. The supremacy of international law must be respected,” Representative Royce stated in the meeting. The two officials agreed that US presence is a force of stability in Asia.

Secretary del Rosario and Ambassador Cuisia thanked the congressman for his support for the Save Our Industries Act (SAVE Act), a trade initiative in the US Congress which aims to create jobs in the Philippine apparel and US textile industries. Representative Royce said “we have to keep pushing it (the SAVE Act).”

“The US pivot to Asia should mean towards the Philippines, the oldest and one of the closest allies of the US in the region. The SAVE Act is tangible evidence in trade policy of this pivot,” Representative Royce replied.

Recognizing the importance of the alliance in the ambit of the US Congress, Representative Royce assured Secretary del Rosario that he will help reinvigorate the Philippine-US Friendship Caucus. The Caucus is a bipartisan network of US congressmen that works for a robust bilateral partnership for democracy and regional security and recognizes the dynamic presence of Filipino Americans in the United States.

Representative Ed Royce of Orange County, California is a long-time proponent of closer defense cooperation between the Philippines and the US and has pushed for bilateral efforts against terrorism. He has been a staunch supporter of the rules-based approach to the West Philippine Sea issue and the peaceful resolution of disputes within the framework of international law. Last year, as Chair of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation, and Trade, he convened a congressional hearing focused on strengthening Philippines-US Alliance. END

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-004-2013
17 January 2013

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario (left) discusses strengthening PHL-US relations with US House Committee Chairman on Foreign Relations Representative Ed Royce.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-005-2013
17 January 2013

Secretary del Rosario (left), Representative Royce (center), and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia Jr. (right) meet on Capitol Hill.