The Trump Administration & US - Indo-Pacific Relations

This resource will track statements, developments, visits, and other interactions in US-Indo-Pacific relations under the President Trump administration. Special focus will be given to the comments and activities of President Donald J. Trump; Vice President Mike Pence; United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer; Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr.; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

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Secretary Mattis' Call with Korean Minister of National Defense Song

"On August 16, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo to congratulate him on his confirmation as ROK Minister of National Defense and to discuss a range of U.S.-ROK Alliance issues. Both Secretary Mattis and Minister Song strongly condemned North Korea’s second intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 28 and resolved to continue to closely coordinate responses to the North Korean threat. Secretary Mattis reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. commitment to defend the ROK and…

President Trump's Call with Korean President Moon

"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea to discuss North Korea’s July 28 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The two leaders affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world. President Trump and President Moon welcomed the new United Nations Security Council resolution that unanimously passed 15-0. The leaders committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge…

Joint Statement from the United States of America, Republic of Korea, and Japan

"President Donald J. Trump, President Moon Jae-in [of South Korea], and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [of Japan] met in Hamburg, Germany, on July 6 to discuss the serious and escalating threat posed by the nuclear and ballistic missile programs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The three leaders condemned the DPRK’s unprecedented launch, on July 4, of a ballistic missile with intercontinental range, a major escalation that directly violates multiple United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and that clearly demonstrates the growing threat…

Secretary Mattis' Call with Korea Minister of Defense Han

"Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke by telephone today with Republic of Korea Minister of Defense Han Min-koo to discuss North Korea's test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4. Secretary Mattis and Minister Han both strongly condemned North Korea's missile test, agreeing that this reckless provocation poses a threat to security and stability both in the region and to the broader international community. Secretary Mattis re-affirmed the United States' ironclad commitment to the U.S.-ROK alliance and the United States' extended deterrence commitments…

USTR Lighthizer Calls a Special Session Under the U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement [KOURS]

"United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today, as directed by President Trump, formally notified the Republic of Korea that the United States is calling a special Joint Committee meeting under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to start the process of negotiating to remove barriers to U.S. trade and consider needed amendments to the agreement. The USTR acted in accord with the President’s intention of reducing the trade deficit and giving Americans a better chance to succeed in global markets. 'President Trump continues to keep…

Secretary Ross Remarks on US - South Korea Trade

"The trade imbalance with South Korea has doubled since the KORUS treaty was put into effect, and the largest single component of that is automotive trade. That’s an absolute majority of it. So there are a lot of non-tariff trade barriers to U.S. exports. Only 25,000 cars per Big Three manufacturer are allowed in based on U.S. standards. Anything above that needs to be on Korean standards. So that kind of rulemaking affects quite a few industries and really restricts the access that U.S. companies…

Joint Statement between the United States and the Republic of Korea

"President Donald J. Trump hosted President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the White House on June 29 and 30 in order to advance the comprehensive strategic Alliance between the United States and the ROK and to deepen the two countries’ friendship. Since its founding, the Alliance has served as a linchpin for security, stability, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia Pacific region, and increasingly around the world. As we mark the 67th anniversary of the outbreak of the…

Vice President Pence's Remarks at US Chamber of Commerce's Invest in America Summit - Indo-Pacific

"In fact, just last month I traveled to the Asia Pacific on the President’s behalf to promote our economic relationships with South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia. And at the President’s direction, together with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, I had the privilege of announcing a new U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue. We look forward to this dialogue, to seeing it progress, and to exploring ways that we can begin similar discussions with other nations around the world, including many of those gathered here."

Secretary Tillerson's Meeting With Republic of Korea Special Envoy Hong Seok-hyun

"On May 18, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Republic of Korea Ambassador Hong Seok-hyun, President Moon Jae-in’s Special Envoy to the United States.

During the meeting, Secretary Tillerson congratulated the Moon administration on its recent election. The Secretary reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to defend the Republic of Korea against threats from North Korea. The two also discussed the importance of our continued close coordination."

President Trump's Interview with The Economist - South Korea

"But in the case of South Korea we have a [trade] deal [known as the KORUS FTA] that was made by Hillary Clinton, it’s a horrible deal. And that is the five-year anniversary and it’s up for renegotiation and we’ve informed them that we’ll negotiate. And again, we want a fair deal. We don’t want a one-sided deal our way but we want fair deals. And if we can have fair deals our country is going to do very well."

President Trump's Call with Korean President Moon

"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to congratulate him and the Korean people on his great election victory and their peaceful, democratic transition of power. President Trump and President Moon agreed to continue to strengthen the United States-Republic of Korea alliance and to deepen the enduring friendship between our two countries. President Trump said he looks forward to working with President Moon and invited him to visit Washington at an early date. President Moon accepted the…

President Trump's Interview with Reuters - South Korea

"On the THAAD system, it's about a billion dollars. I said, 'Why are we paying? Why are we paying a billion dollars? We're protecting. Why are we paying a billion dollars?' So I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. Nobody's going to do that. Why are we paying a billion dollars? It's a billion dollar system. It's phenomenal. It's the most incredible equipment you've ever seen - shoots missiles right out of the sky. And it protects them and I want…