The United States Of America



OVERVIEW

Singapore and the United States (US) celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2016.

Singapore enjoys strong and longstanding defence, economic and political ties with the US, underpinned by the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (that came into force in January 2004), the Strategic Framework Agreement (signed in July 2005), the Strategic Partnership Dialogue (initiated in February 2012) and the enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (signed in December 2015). Bilateral cooperation spans many mutually beneficial areas such as cyber-security, health, education, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, counter-proliferation and a Third Country Training Programme to jointly help developing countries.

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

2017

  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made an Official Working Visit to the US from 21 to 26 October.  During the visit, PM met US President Donald Trump and was hosted by President Trump to a bilateral working luncheon together with Cabinet Secretaries and key White House officials.
  • United States Governor of Utah Gary Herbert made his first visit to Singapore on 28 August as part of a trade mission to the Southeast Asian region.
  • US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and two bipartisan US Congressional Delegations led by Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Senator John McCain and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Congressman Mac Thornberry attended the 2017 Shangri-La Dialogue in June.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made a working visit to the US from 4 to 8 June, in conjunction with his participation in the American Jewish Committee Global Forum World Leaders Plenary in Washington DC and the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Ocean Conference) in New York.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made a working visit to Washington DC from 3 to 5 May, and attended the Special ASEAN-United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 4 May, hosted by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  He also met US National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H R McMaster with the other ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 5 May. 
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean participated in the 2017 Sedona Forum hosted by the McCain Institute in Sedona, Arizona from 21 to 23 April, and spoke at a dialogue session on “A View from Asia”.  On the sidelines of the Forum, DPM Teo met with US personalities, including Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services John McCain, National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H R McMaster, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Commander, US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris, Jr, Commander, US European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Curtis Scaparrotti, as well as Members of Congress.  He also visited the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)’s Peace Carvin II F-16C/D training detachment at Luke Air Force Base on 23 April.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made a working visit to Washington DC from 21 to 23 March, and attended the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS on 22 March. He also had separate bilateral meetings with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H R McMaster, as well as meetings with key Members of Congress.
  • The US-Singapore Summer Exchange Scholarship Programme was launched on 15 March. The scholarship programme was first announced during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's Official Visit to the US in August 2016, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the US.
  • A bipartisan US Congressional Delegation led by Congressional Singapore Caucus Co-Chairs Bradley Byrne and Denny Heck visited Singapore from 20 to 24 February.

2016

  • At the invitation of US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made an official visit to the US from 31 July to 3 August. President Obama received Prime Minister Lee at a State Arrival Ceremony, and hosted him to a State Dinner at the White House. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was also jointly hosted by US Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State John Kerry to a State Luncheon. 
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made two other working visits to the US in 2016.  He visited New York and Washington DC from 26 March to 2 April, during which Prime Minister Lee attended the 4th Nuclear Security Summit. He also visited San Francisco and Sunnylands, California, from 10 to 16 February and attended the inaugural Special ASEAN-US Leaders’ Summit.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam made a working visit to Washington DC from 5 to 8 October.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean made a working visit to Washington DC from 21 to 23 September and attended Singapore Day in San Francisco on 24 September.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made a working visit to Washington DC from 8 to 10 June.
  • A US Congressional delegation (CODEL) led by Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain visited Singapore from 3 to 4 June to attend the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue.
  • Singapore hosted the 4th US-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue on 22 January, co-chaired by Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) Chee Wee Kiong and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel.

2015

  • Minister (Defence) Dr Ng Eng Hen visited Washington DC from 6 to 10 December.
  • US Secretary of State John Kerry made his first official visit to Singapore on 4 August.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs and Law) K Shanmugam made a working visit to Washington DC from 14 to 20 June.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister (Finance) Tharman Shanmugaratnam visited New York and Washington DC from 14 to 18 April.  
  • The US hosted the 3rd US-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue in Washington DC on 13 February, co-chaired by Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) Chee Wee Kiong and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel.
  • Singapore received visits by four US CODELs in 2015. The CODELs were led by Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (October), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (August), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain (May, for the 14th Shangri-La Dialogue) and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Congressman Paul Ryan (February).
  • Singapore received visits by two US Congressional Staff Delegations (STAFFDELs) in April and November.

 Last updated: December 2017