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.


Pinned Posts

Australia-Japan-United States Defense Ministers’ Meeting Joint Statement

"Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, Japanese Minister of Defense KONO Taro, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper convened a virtual trilateral defense ministerial meeting on July 7 (Washington). The ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to enhance security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region in keeping with their shared values and longstanding alliances and close partnerships. This was the ninth meeting among the three nations’ defense leaders.

The ministers concurred that the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of a rules-based international order in…

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Readout of Secretary Esper's Phone Call With Thailand Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha

"Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke with his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the phone today to discuss key bilateral issues within the Alliance. Secretary Esper thanked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government for their leadership in responding to COVID-19 and offered continued assistance from the United States. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha conveyed his government’s gratitude to the United States for its support, which has been led by the United States Agency for International Development, the Centers for…

U.S. Trade Representative on 2020 Trade Policy Agenda - Senate Hearing

Secretary Esper's Op-Ed in "The Straits Times" on US Indo-Pacific Policy

"As an Indo-Pacific nation, the United States is committed to ensuring the region remains free and open for all, and upholding the rules and norms that have secured prosperity for nations of all sizes.

In the year since the Department of Defence released the Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, we have made great strides across the three pillars of our strategy: preparedness, strengthening partnerships, and promoting a more networked region - but there is still much more work to be done.

First, under preparedness, we are prioritising…

Secretary Esper's Phone Call With the Philippines Secretary of Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke by phone today with his Philippine counterpart, Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana. Secretary Esper wished Secretary Lorenzana a Happy Independence Day and reiterated his support for a strong and enduring U.S.-Philippine defense alliance. Secretary Esper expressed his support for the Philippines Government decision last week to suspend the Visiting Forces Agreement termination, and reiterated how the agreement benefits both countries. Further, Secretary Esper and Secretary Lorenzana discussed a range of regional security issues including impacts…

Philippines Independence Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I wish the people of the Republic of the Philippines a happy and prosperous independence day on June 12.

The U.S.-Philippine alliance is fortified by our shared history, rich people-to-people ties, and deep bilateral cooperation. As we stood together during World War II and in the global fight against terrorism, our nations are partnering again to contain and mitigate COVID-19. Our friendship and cooperation stand as a model for ensuring peace, stability, prosperity, and…

Secretary Esper's Remarks on China and COVID-19

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Vietnamese DPM/FM Pham Binh Minh

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke yesterday with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Secretary Pompeo and DPM/FM Minh reaffirmed the strength of our Comprehensive Partnership as we celebrate a quarter century of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations in 2020. They also discussed our two countries’ extensive coordination in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary and the DPM/FM agreed on the importance of ensuring freedom of the seas and the unfettered pursuit of economic opportunity throughout the Indo-Pacific region. The Secretary reiterated…

Joint Statement From the Co-Chairs of the Special ASEAN-United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

"The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Lao PDR as the co-Chairs of the Special ASEAN-United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) conducted via video conference on April 22/23, 2020.

Begin Text:

  • We, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the United States Secretary of State held the Special ASEAN- United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) via video conference on 23 April 2020 (22 April 2020 Washington, D.C. time)…
  • The United States and ASEAN are Partnering to Defeat COVID-19, Build Long-Term Resilience, and Support Economic Recovery

    "Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are enduring strategic partners as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for economic recovery. We commit to continue our collaboration with ASEAN to beat this pandemic and get back to the business of building a bright future for the region together.

    We thank our ASEAN partners for their valuable support in promoting the continued flow of vital medical supplies into the United States, as well as their support for our repatriation flights. For example…