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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President Trump's Remarks on China During September 21, 2020 Interview with Fox and Friends

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President Trump's Call with Japanese Prime Minister Abe

"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss ongoing efforts to maximize pressure on North Korea. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of close cooperation between the United States, Japan, and South Korea in the face of the growing threat from North Korea. President Trump noted that he looks forward to continued trilateral coordination on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly."

USTR Lighthizer Initiates Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review for Thailand, Welcomes Commerce Minister Apiradi

"U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today announced an Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of Thailand’s Special 301 status due to positive steps the country has taken regarding intellectual property (IP). In the 2017 Special 301 report, USTR placed Thailand on the Priority Watch List but noted that the United States was prepared to review that status if Thailand continued to take positive action on IP issues and made substantial progress in addressing the concerns described in the Special 301 report. The Trump Administration has been closely engaging…

USTR Lighthizer Meets with Malaysian Minister of Trade and Industry

"U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Malaysian Minister of Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed yesterday ahead of President Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Najib. During the meeting, Ambassador Lighthizer and Minister Mustapa discussed ways to further strengthen their trade relationship. They directed their staffs to make further progress in addressing specific issues being discussed under the U.S.-Malaysia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, including on insurance and financial services, intellectual property, agriculture, goods, labor, and environment. The two Ministers agreed to stay in close touch…

President Donald Trump's Call with Korean President Moon

"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea to discuss our coordinated response to North Korea’s continued destabilizing and escalatory behavior. They discussed the close and continuing cooperation between the United States, South Korea, and Japan to address this issue, following up on the recent meetings between the national security advisors of each country. President Trump and President Moon pledged to continue to apply strong diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and to make all necessary preparations to deter…

Secretary Mattis' Call with Japanese Minister of Defense Onodera

"Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke by telephone with Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera to discuss North Korea’s missile launch on August 28. Secretary Mattis and Minister Onodera both agreed that this launch is an unacceptable act that undermines security and stability in the region. Secretary Mattis reaffirmed that the United States’ defense commitments to Japan remain ironclad, including its extended deterrence commitment. Secretary Mattis also underscored the United States’ commitment to assist Japan in enhancing its ballistic missile defense capabilities in the…

Secretary Mattis Remarks at Bilateral Meeting with Korean Defense Minister Song

"The Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance has played an enduring role in regaining and maintaining South Korea’s security since 1950. As President Moon remarked earlier this week, our alliance serves as the foundation of peace on the Korean Peninsula. Our countries share a commitment to democratic values, and we work together to maintain a stable environment in which all pacific nations can prosper. [...] Here in Washington we are keenly aware that South Korea is on the frontline and we cannot be complacent. We note with…

President Trump's Call with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee

"President Donald J. Trump spoke on the phone today with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore to discuss Hurricane Harvey response efforts. President Trump thanked Prime Minister Lee for his condolences and offer of assistance to support search and rescue operations, including the use of a Singaporean Air Force Chinook helicopter detachment that trains with the Texas Air National Guard. President Trump also thanked Prime Minister Lee for Singapore’s support for the USS John S. McCain search, rescue, and recovery efforts. Finally, the two…

President Trump's Call with Philippine President Duterte

"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. It was a very friendly conversation, in which the two leaders discussed the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding regional security, including the threat posed by North Korea. They also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world. President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward…

President Trump's Phone Call with Japanese Prime Minister Abe

"President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to address North Korea’s launch of a missile that overflew Japanese territory. The two leaders agreed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, as well as to countries around the world. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe committed to increasing pressure on North Korea, and doing their utmost to convince the international community to do the same."

President Trump's Press Statement on North Korea

"The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior. Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table."

President Trump's Meeting with Malaysian National Security Council Director General Zulkifeli

"On August 24, 2017, President Donald J. Trump met with General Zulkifeli bin Muhammad Zin, Director General of the Malaysian National Security Council, accompanied by Malaysia’s Ambassador to the United States, Zulhasnan Rafique, and expressed the gratitude of the United States for the Malaysian Coast Guard, Royal Malaysian Navy, and Royal Malaysian Air Force’s help in recovering the fallen United States sailors of the USS John S. McCain. The President also told General Zulkifeli that he looks forward to welcoming Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul…

President Trump's Remarks at Rally in Arizona

"And you see what's going on in North Korea. All of a sudden, I don't know -- who knows. But I can tell you, what I said, that's not strong enough. Some people said it's too strong, it's not strong enough. But [North Korean Chairman] Kim Jong Un, I respect the fact that I believe he is starting to respect us. I respect that fact very much. Respect that fact. And maybe -- probably not -- but maybe something positive can come about. They [US…

USTR Lighthizer Statement on the Conclusion of the Special Session of the US-Korea FTA Joint Committee.

“The United States and Korea have an important economic relationship. Unfortunately, too many American workers have not benefited from the agreement. USTR has long pressed the Korean government to address burdensome regulations which often exclude U.S. firms or artificially set prices for American intellectual property. This negotiation offers us an opportunity to resolve these and other barriers.Since KORUS entered into effect, U.S. goods exports have decreased while the trade deficit overall with Korea has nearly tripled. American service exports have seen virtually no growth in…

USTR Announces Special Session of the U.S.-Korea FTA Joint Committee

"United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today announced arrangements for the special session meeting of the Joint Committee under the U.S.-Korea (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement. The special session will be held in Seoul, South Korea, on August 22, 2017. Ambassador Lighthizer and Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong will open the meeting via videoconference, to be followed by additional senior-level discussions between U.S. and Korean officials in Seoul."

U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determinations on Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia

"Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia received countervailable subsidies of 50.29 to 64.17 percent and 41.06 to 68.28 percent, respectively. Commerce also determined that critical circumstances exist in the Argentina investigation, allowing for the collection of duties for a retroactive period of 90 days prior to publication of the preliminary determination in the Federal Register."

President Trump's Remarks on India's Assistance with Afghanistan

"Another critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India -- the world’s largest democracy and a key security and economic partner of the United States. We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development. We are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace…

Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee [United States and Japan]

"The Ministers confirmed their shared intent to develop specific measures and actions to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance, including through reviewing roles, missions, and capabilities, to ensure seamless Alliance responses across a full spectrum of situations amid an increasingly challenging regional security environment. To that end, Japan intends to expand its role in the Alliance and augment its defense capabilities, with an eye on the next planning period for its Mid-Term Defense Program. The United States remains committed to deploying its most advanced capabilities to…

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…