US President to begin Asia tour

November 03, 2017 | 16:14
US President Donald Trump will visit five Asian countries from November 3. The trip until November 14 will be the longest Asia tour of a US President, showing Washington’s commitment to boosting cooperation with the region.
US President Donald Trump

President Trump will visit Hawaii before heading to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. He will meet his Asian counterparts and attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC Summit in Vietnam and the ASEAN-US Senior Meeting in the Philippines.

The US government said in a statement that President Trump’s trip reflects his strong commitment to the US’s allies and partners and the US role in Asia-Pacific.

Trade, denuclearization of Korean peninsula top Trump’s agenda

Headlining Trump’s agenda will be reassuring regional leaders, particularly US allies Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines, of America's defensive commitments and trade cooperation, according to Chairman of the Sino-US Relation Committee Stephen Orlins.

The US’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement worried Asian countries about Washington’s investment in the region. According to analysts, during this visit President Trump needs to demonstrate the US’s interest in boosting economic ties with, and opening markets for, Asian-Pacific countries.

Economic issues will be high on the agenda of talks between Trump and Japanese leaders. Last month, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and US Vice President Mike Pence co-chaired the second round of a bilateral economic dialogue in Washington.

The White House said the two countries reached some consensus on trade but differences remain since the dialogue didn’t mention the US-Japan Free Trade Agreement. The two sides remain in a dispute over multilateral trade. Washington is re-negotiating the North America Free Trade Agreement and Tokyo is pushing ahead with the TPP Agreement.

After Japan, President Trump will visit the Republic of Korea on November 7. Blue House spokesperson Park Soo hyun said the leaders will discuss US-ROK ties, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) issue, and the general situation in North Asia. Trade ties between the two countries will also be high on the agenda. Two weeks ago in Washington, the US and South Korean Finance Ministers discussed the bilateral Free Trade Agreement and currency manipulation.

With Chinese leaders, Trump will likely discuss the DPRK issue and the trade deficit between China and the US.

Multilateral forum utilized

In addition to visits with each nation's leader, President Trump will also attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the US-ASEAN Summit, a good opportunity for him to clarify the US’s external policy in the Asia-Pacific region and reinforce cooperation with Asian countries in addressing global challenges.

President Trump will likely call on APEC and ASEAN member countries to reform their economies and apply higher international standards, particularly in services, e-commerce, digital trade, and protecting intellectual property rights if they want to boost free trade.

President Trump’s tour of Asia is an opportunity for the US to promote its interests and clarify its policy in the region.


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