US nears new cooperation deals with Pacific Island nations

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is nearing deals with two Pacific Island nations to extend their special ties with the United States, as U.S.-China rivalry for influence in the region heats up.

The U.S. has signed two memorandums of understanding with the Marshall Islands and Palau that officials hope will pave the way for broader agreements that will govern their relations with Washington.

The memorandums lay out the amounts of money that the federal government will provide to the Marshalls and Palau if their so-called “Compacts of Free Association” are successfully renegotiated.

Officials would not discuss the specifics because the deals aren’t yet legally binding and must still be approved by Congress.

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