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.

Methodology

Pinned Posts

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Singaporean Foreign Minister Balakrishnan

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. Secretary Pompeo reiterated U.S. support for Southeast Asian states upholding their sovereign rights and interests under international law, and he underscored U.S. opposition to PRC efforts to use coercion to push its unlawful South China Sea maritime claims. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Balakrishnan also discussed the importance of our longstanding partnership and ways to expand our cooperation further, including in ASEAN and its related fora."

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi today about the continued, strong U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership and the two countries’ shared goal of respect for international law in the South China Sea. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Marsudi highlighted the importance of increased public health and economic cooperation to rebuild our economies and keep the region safe."

All Posts

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…

President Trump's Interview with Reuters - China and North Korea

"He [Chinese President Xi Jinping] certainly doesn't want to see turmoil and death [in North Korea]. He doesn't want to see it. He's a good man. He's a very good man and I got to know him very well ...We'll see how it all works out. I know he would like to be able to do something. Perhaps it's possible that he can't. But I think he'd like to be able to do something."

Secretary Mattis' Joint Statement with Secretary of State Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Coats

"Past efforts have failed to halt North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs and nuclear and ballistic missile tests. With each provocation, North Korea jeopardizes stability in Northeast Asia and poses a growing threat to our allies and the U.S. homeland. North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority. Upon assuming office, President Trump ordered a thorough review of U.S. policy pertaining to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). [...] We are engaging responsible members of the…

Press Briefing by Secretary Ross - India

"Well, the U.S. does not have a free-trade agreement with India at this point, so the trade relations between the U.S. and India are governed by the WTO rules. There’s nothing in the actions we’ve taken that changes that. [...] but there’s no inherent negative attitude on our part relating to that."

President Trump's Call with Chinese President Xi

"President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with President Xi Jinping of China to address issues regarding North Korea. President Trump criticized North Korea’s continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang’s actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula. The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and committed to strengthen coordination in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

Vice President Pence on US Refugee Deal with Australia

"President Trump has made it clear that we'll honor the agreement — that doesn't mean we admire the agreement.[ When asked if the Trump administration will uphold the refugee resettlement agreement that was agreed to under President Obama with Australia where refugees being held in Australian detention camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea will come to the US."

Vice President Pence Remarks on North Korea

“While all options are on the table, let me assure you the US will continue to work closely with Australian and our other allies in the region, and with China, to bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on the regime in Pyongyang until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program. But if China is unable to deal with North Korea, the United States and our allies will.”

Readout of the Vice President’s Meetings with Australian Officials

"In addition to his meeting and press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Vice President Mike Pence met today with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, and Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove in Sydney, Australia. In his meetings, the Vice President underscored the United States’ unwavering commitment to the U.S.-Australia alliance and to the broader Asia-Pacific region. Vice President Pence conveyed the United States’ sincere appreciation for Australia’s significant contributions to Afghanistan and to defeating ISIS. He…

Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Indonesian Cabinet Ministers

"Today, Vice President Mike Pence met with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Indonesian Cabinet Ministers in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Vice President reaffirmed the United States’ strong, enduring commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and the Strategic Partnership with Indonesia. Vice President Pence expressed appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its commitment to tolerance and peace. The two agreed to strengthen cooperation across a range of bilateral and regional issues, including bilateral trade and investment."

Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with Interfaith Religious Leaders in Southeast Asia

Vice President Mike Pence participated in an interfaith dialogue with faith leaders of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Confucianism at the conclusion of his tour of the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. Vice President Pence expressed appreciation to Indonesia for its shared commitment to religious freedom and reaffirmed that the United States will continue to defend this fundamental freedom, at home and abroad.

Remarks by the Vice President and Indonesian President Widodo to the Press

"I know I’m the first member of President Trump’s administration to visit Southeast Asia, and the President sent me here — sent me here as a sign of the high value the United States places on our strategic partnership with Indonesia. As the second and third largest democracies in the world, our two countries share many common values — including freedom, the rule of law, human rights, and religious diversity. [...] American companies have been doing business in Indonesia for years, and American products and…

Vice President Pence Remarks on USS Ronald Reagan - Japan

“The U.S. will strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific. Japan will assume a larger role and responsibility in our alliance in the years ahead. Both of our nations will continue to expand our cooperation for our common defense. [...] Under President Trump, the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of our security treaty is unwavering, and the treaty covers all of the territories administered by Japan, including the Senkaku Islands.”

Vice President Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Aso on the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue

"Vice President Mike Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso met today to launch the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue in Tokyo, Japan. In February, President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to this Economic Dialogue when the two leaders met in Washington, D.C., as a way to deepen the strong economic ties between the United States and Japan. The Co-Chairs agreed to structure the Economic Dialogue along three policy pillars: Common Strategy on Trade and Investment Rules/Issues; Cooperation in Economic and Structural Policies…

Secretary Ross Meeting with Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Seko

"The U.S. is keen to increase trade with Japan through a trade agreement, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told reporters on Tuesday morning after meeting Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko in Tokyo. 'We are certainly eager to increase our trade relationships with Japan and to do so in the form of an agreement,' Ross said when asked whether the two ministers had discussed a free trade agreement between the two countries. The Trump administration has expressed its intention to discuss a bilateral…

Vice President Pence’s Meeting with South Korean Speaker of the National Assembly Chung

"Vice President Mike Pence met with Speaker of the National Assembly, Chung Sye-kyun, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Vice President reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to our ironclad U.S.-ROK alliance and underscored the important role the alliance plays in upholding peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. Vice President Pence and Speaker Chung discussed the importance of coordination and consultation to address the North Korean threat and underscored commitment to our ongoing bilateral efforts to deploy THAAD. The Vice President emphasized that whatever the outcome…

Vice President Pence Interview with CNN's Dana Bash

"I know the President was heartened by his discussions with President Xi. We've seen China begin to take some actions to bring pressure on North Korea but there needs to be more. [...] I know the President of the United States has no higher priority than the safety and security of the American people. The presence of US forces here in South Korea are a long-standing commitment to the Asia Pacific. And insuring the security of the continental US will be a priority in this…

President Trump's Interview with the Wall Street Journal - China and North Korea

"We have tremendous trade deficits with everybody, but the big one is with China. It’s hundreds of billions of dollars of year for many many years. And I told them. I said you know, we’re not going to let that go ahead. Now, I did say — but you want to make a great deal? Solve the problem in North Korea. That’s worth having deficits. And that’s worth having not as good a trade deal as I would normally be able to make. OK, I’ll…

President Trump's Call with Japanese Prime Minister Abe

"President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan about recent developments in Syria. The leaders agreed that Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians, including women and children, was abhorrent and warranted a strong response from the international community. President Trump thanked Prime Minister Abe for his support for the United States missile strikes in Syria, and the two leaders pledged to show continued resolve in response to al-Assad's brutal actions. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe also agreed…

President Trump's Call with South Korean Acting President Hwang

"President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn of South Korea about recent developments in Syria. The leaders agreed that the use of chemical weapons, including Bashar al-Assad’s April 4 attack on civilians, cannot be tolerated and that the international community should unite in its efforts to prevent further use of such weapons. President Trump thanked Acting President Hwang for his support for the United States strikes. The leaders also reaffirmed the strength of the United States- Republic of Korea alliance and…

President Trump's Meeting with Chinese President Xi

"President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect. [...] President Trump noted the challenges caused by Chinese government intervention in its economy and raised serious concerns about the impact of China’s industrial, agricultural, technology, and cyber policies on United States jobs and exports. The President underscored the need for China to take concrete steps to level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access. [...]…

Secretary Mattis and Singapore Minister for Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen

"Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Minister for Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen met April 5 in the Pentagon. During their meeting, they reaffirmed the excellent and long-standing bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Singapore, as underscored by the 1990 memorandum of understanding, the 2005 strategic framework agreement, and the 2015 enhanced defense cooperation agreement (DCA). [...] Secretary Mattis and Dr. Ng affirmed the strong military-to-military cooperation between the Singapore armed forces and the U.S. armed forces. Over the years, personnel exchanges and…

President Trump's Call with Japanese Prime Minister Abe

"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss regional matters of concern, particularly North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile yesterday. The President emphasized that the United States stands with its allies Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat that North Korea continues to pose. The President also made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its…

President Trump's Letter to Vietnamese President Quang

"U.S. President Donald Trump has written to Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to promote more cooperation between the two countries, the government website cited Quang as saying. Vietnam and the United States had advanced ties to a new level under the Obama administration amid a dispute with China over East Vietnam Sea issues, while Trump has also expressed his hope for a stronger relationship. Trump sent a letter to Quang 'affirming his wishes to promote cooperation on economics, trade, regional and international issues', the Vietnamese…

Secretary Mattis' Remarks on North Korea in London

President Trump's Call with Indian Prime Minister Modi

"President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to congratulate him on the outcome of India’s recent state-level elections. President Trump expressed support for the Prime Minister’s economic reform agenda and emphasized his great respect for the people of India. President Trump also said he looks forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in Washington later this year."

Remarks by Secretary Mattis and Indian National Security Adviser Doval

"Mr. Doval, ambassador and Indian delegation, welcome to the Pentagon. We're delighted to have you here. Democracies like ours need this sort of dialogue and we have had a strengthening of the relationship over the last several years. And no relationship stays the same. They either decline or they get better, they get stronger. And our intent here today is to continue to strengthen the relationship and to make certain that it gets stronger every year between two democracies that have many common interests, many…

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Lighthizer Discusses China's Steel Overcapacity

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Nominee Lighthizer Discusses President Trump's Business Interests in China

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Nominee Lighthizer Discusses US-Vietnam Trade

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Nominee Lighhizer Discusses India and Intellectual Property Rights

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Nominee Lighthizer Discusses India and Intellectual Property Rights

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Nominee Lighthizer Discusses China's Overcapacity in Steel and Aluminum

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Nominee Lighthizer Discusses China and the World Trade Organization (WTO)

[Confirmation Hearing] USTR Nominee Lighthizer Discusses China and the WTO

Secretary Ross on Nafta, China, and Border Adjustment Tax

Secretary Mattis' Call with Japanese Foreign Minister of Defense Inada

"Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke this evening by telephone with Japan Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada to discuss North Korea's missile launches earlier today (March 6, Korea time). Secretary Mattis and Minister Inada both agreed that these launches are an unacceptable and irresponsible act that undermines security and stability in the region. Secretary Mattis reaffirmed that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to Japan including its extended deterrence commitment. Both Secretary Mattis and Minister Inada agreed to cooperate closely along with…

President Trump's Calls with Japanese Prime Minister Abe and South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn

"President Donald J. Trump spoke separately today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn of South Korea to discuss North Korea’s launch of ballistic missiles in clear violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. President Trump emphasized the United States’ ironclad commitment to stand with Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea. He emphasized that his Administration is taking steps to further enhance our ability to deter and defend against North Korea’s…