Manchin Calls For Renewed U.S. Commitment To The Freely Associated States

Manchin’s call comes amid ongoing negotiations and China’s continued aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region

March 29, 2022

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine the strategic importance of the Freely Associated States to the United States and our allies in the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Committee, highlighted the need to prioritize negotiations on the expiring provisions in the Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

“There is broad consensus between Republicans and Democrats, and the Administration, of the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific region to American security, and the need to prioritize our relationship with the Freely Associated States. While our attention remains focused on Putin’s atrocious actions in Ukraine, we must not turn a blind eye to the potentially severe consequences of China’s continued aggression toward Taiwan, and the Indo-Pacific region at large. It remains in America’s best interest to expedite these negotiations to demonstrate our loyalty to these special allies and our longstanding commitment to maintaining peace and security in this region,” Chairman Manchin said.

Chairman Manchin then called for renewed American commitment to the Freely Associated States to preserve our national security interests in the Indo-Pacific and deter Chinese expansion in the region.

“To put it plainly, we cannot afford to abandon the Freely Associated States, nor our strategic military presence in the Indo-Pacific, given the threat of our current adversaries,” said Chairman Manchin. “The United States must be proactive in coming to the negotiation table to maintain our alliances with our partners in the region.”

The hearing featured witnesses from U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of State. To read their testimony, click here.  

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.