Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam in Washington, DC. Before their conversation, they gave remarks to the media on the state of US-Singapore relations in terms of both economic and security cooperation. Secretary Kerry highlighted the 2,000 American companies that are based in Singapore, the Singapore-US Free Trade Agreement that is now over 10 years old, the new US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership, and Singapore’s leadership in shaping the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Foreign Minister Shanmugam also praised the strength of the relationship, and quoted some figures from the latest ASEAN Matters for America publication, just released in April. Specifically, he highlighted the fact that 560,000 American jobs are dependent on exports to ASEAN, and that American investment in ASEAN, at nearly $200 billion, is greater than in any other place in Asia. Those figures are all included in the new booklet, which is available for download here.
This is not the first time that ASEAN Matters for America has caught the attention of government officials at high levels. The first edition of the publication, released in 2010, was the source of some of the exact language used in S.Res. 640, a resolution that was introduced and passed by the Senate on September 23, 2010. That resolution “expressed the sense of the Senate regarding the United States engagement with ASEAN and its member states.” That resolution was sponsored by John Kerry, who was still a senator at the time, and Jim Webb of Virginia.