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American Samoa benefits from trilateral summit

by | May 13, 2024 | American Samoa, Federal Government | 0 comments

Following the first-ever trilateral summit between the US, Japan, and the Philippines, Delegate Amata Radewagen Coleman (R) of American Samoa emphasized the significance of strategic relationships between the three countries, as valuable trade partners and strategic allies in the Indo-Pacific.

US commitment to the Pacific region is of utmost importance. The Pacific Islands take note of US and allied involvement for the stability of the region. Japan is a longtime economic strong point in the Indo-Pacific and a key ally in a defensive role. The Philippines are in a strategic location, a valuable trade partner, and have additional growth potential.”

-Delegate Aumua Amata, Vice Chairman of the Indo-Pacific Subcommittee, House Foreign Affairs Committee

The tactical alliance between the three nations is part of the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, codified in February 2022. The strategy prioritizes issues in the economic and security sectors to support strengthening relationships from Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, to South Asia and Oceania, including the Pacific Islands. The five core strategies are centered around ensuring alliances, economic drivers, and regional security, all of which have the potential to bolster prosperity within American Samoa and the entire Indo-Pacific Region.

Fueled by this strategic plan, President Biden, President Kishida Fumio of Japan, and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of the Philippines, held the inaugural US-Japan-Philippines trilateral summit in mid-April at the White House. Ahead of the summit, and meeting with Delegate Coleman Radewagen, President Marcos announced, “The main intent of this trilateral agreement is for us to be able to continue to flourish, to be able to help one another, and of course to keep the peace in the South China Sea and the freedom of navigation.” Following the summit, the three leaders released a joint statement indicating key agreements solidified through their meeting, including shared participation to improve the International Law-Based Maritime Order, execute Coast Guard exercises in Philippine waters, establish cyber capabilities to deter China, and discuss infrastructure investments to bolster economies in the region. 

The economic commitments made between the Philippines, Japan, and the United States, represent a new era of collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region. Perhaps one of the primary benefits for American Samoa, resulting from the trilateral agreement, is a commitment to increased cooperative regulation of illegal commercial fishing. The backbone of American Samoa’s economic sector is tuna fishing and cannery production. A regulation of overfishing and illegal fishing could help to ensure economic stability for the territory.



Harper Godsey

Harper Godsey

Harper Godsey is a student at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. He is passionate about policy, public service, understanding history in order to change the future, and believes in global approaches to solving the most pressing contemporary issues. As the Captain of his debate team, he is deeply invested in mentorship and research on global and national affairs. When he is not on the debate stage, Godsey can be found hiking Colorado’s 14ers, playing chess, serving as an Outdoor Lab Leader where he educates youth on the history and ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains, and travelling with family. He is a Federal Affairs Intern Correspondent at Pasquines.


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