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.; and (former) Secretary of Defense James Mattis.


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Secretary Pompeo's Interview With Karmina Constantino of ABS-CBN - Alliance with the Philippines and North Korea

"QUESTION: Welcome to the Philippines, Mr. Secretary. Thank you for joining us today.

SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s great to be with you. Thank you.

QUESTION: I want to begin with last night. Why the meet with President Duterte? What did you guys talk about?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We talked about the important relationship between our two countries across a broad spectrum. There’s a rich, deep, proud history between the Philippines and the United States. We want to continue that. That’s important for both of our nations’ economies…

President Trump's Remarks on “Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018”

"Today, I have signed into law S. 2736, the “Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018” (the “Act”). Several provisions of the Act, including sections 101, 102, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 208, 209, 210, 211, 213, 216, 306, 307, 406, and 410, purport to dictate the policy of the United States in external military and foreign affairs, or to require the executive branch to undertake certain diplomatic initiatives with international partners."

To read the full text of the “Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018” click here.

Vice President Pence's Remarks at the 2018 APEC CEO Summit

"Thank you, Scott. And thank you all for that warm welcome. Prime Minister O’Neill, Chairman Taureka, representatives from across the region, leaders of the business community, and to all our distinguished guests, it’s my honor to join you here at the “premier economic forum” in the Indo-Pacific: the 2018 APEC CEO Summit. Thank you all for being here. (Applause.)

At this forum last year, President Donald Trump laid out the United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, where, in his words, “sovereign and…

Vice President Pence and Prime Minister Lee of the Republic Of Singapore's Remarks in Joint Press Statements

"Thank you, Prime Minister Lee. Thank you for those wonderful words of friendship and partnership that has been forged through the generations, and for your leadership.Thank you all for the hospitality you’ve extended. And your entire team has been remarkable in the course of the summits that have been just been engaged.

But I must tell you, we are especially grateful to you, Mr. Prime Minister, and Mrs. Lee, for the warm welcome that you’ve extended to me and my wife Karen. And we love…

Prepared Remarks for Vice President Pence at the East Asia Summit Plenary Session

  • "It’s an honor to be here with so many leaders from across the Indo-Pacific at the 13th East Asia Summit. Prime Minister Lee, thank you once again for hosting this meeting in the beautiful and inspiring nation of Singapore.
  • Last year, President Donald Trump attended this summit to lay out the United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. I’m here today to discuss the concrete steps we are taking to protect our nation, defend our allies and partners, and uphold the principles and that…

Vice President Pence’s Meeting with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia

"The Vice President met today with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia to reaffirm the United States-Indonesia Strategic Partnership. The Vice President conveyed condolences for the victims and families of those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia; the United States contributed almost $12 million in disaster assistance for relief efforts. The Vice President congratulated Indonesia on its selection to the United Nations Security Council in 2019. The two heads of delegation agreed to strengthen cooperation across security and economic issues, including maintaining…

Vice President Pence’s Meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam

"Vice President Pence met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam to reaffirm the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership. Noting the 25th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations in 2020, they agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation across economic and security realms, including by addressing barriers to trade and by enhancing maritime security cooperation in the South China Sea. The Vice President thanked Vietnam for its cooperation on recovery operations of missing U.S. personnel and for supporting the pressure campaign on North Korea. They agreed to work…

U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue

"U.S.-China Relations: The United States highlighted President Trump’s vision for a constructive, results-oriented U.S.-China relationship based on fairness and reciprocity. Both sides committed to coordinate on resolving differences and cooperate on common goals. Both sides will be preparing for the success of the planned meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi at the G20 summit in Argentina.

Strategic Security and Mil-Mil Relations: The United States and China recognized that the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship could be a stabilizing factor for the overall bilateral relationship, and committed to…

Vice President Pence's Op-Ed in The Washington Post on US-Indo-Pacific Relations

We seek an Indo-Pacific — from the United States to India, from Japan to Australia, and everywhere in between — where sovereignty is respected, where commerce flows unhindered and where independent nations are masters of their own destinies. This region, which includes more than half of Earth’s surface and population, has experienced great progress when these principles have been respected. While some nations now seek to undermine this foundation, the United States is taking decisive action to protect our interests and promote the Indo-Pacific’s shared…

Secretary Pompeo's Interview With Hugh Hewitt of the Hugh Hewitt Show - China

"QUESTION: [...] Mr. Secretary, in the past two weeks I’ve had on Vice President Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton and now you. They both indicated a clear turning in our strategic posture vis-a-vis the People’s Republic of China and I wanted to ask: Am I correct in recognizing our public tone is different? And was there a moment where the President said, look, I’m going to be the good cop with President Xi and you three, and Secretary Mattis, you, Mike Pompeo, John…

Secretary Pompeo's Call with Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs

"Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke by phone today with the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Teodoro Locsin Jr., to congratulate him on his new position. The Secretary reaffirmed the longstanding U.S.-Philippines alliance and recognized the Philippines’ important role in the Indo-Pacific region. Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Locsin discussed ongoing efforts to address regional issues such as North Korea, the South China Sea, and counterterrorism."

Secretary Mattis's Meeting with Vietnam Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich

"Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with Vietnam Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich for the fifth time today to reaffirm the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Vietnam. The leaders discussed a broad range of defense issues, to include increasing cooperation in the areas of maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping. They also confirmed close cooperation on addressing legacy of war issues and accounting for U.S. personnel missing from the Vietnam War. Secretary Mattis noted his visit…