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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: US to deepen engagement in Asia



WASHINGTON Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo

On Monday, the US wants to increase trade and investment in Asia, while potential partners in strategy and trade want the US partnership rather than supremacy.

Speaking at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum, hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Pompeo demanded that the region should remain "free and open", an implicit challenge to China's approach to its neighbors.

"The Trump government is determined to expand our economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific region," said the secretary. "We believe in strategic partnerships, not strategic dependence."

The US "will not seek domination of the Indo-Pacific and oppose any country that does so," he said.

Addressing an audience of business leaders, diplomats and senior government officials, Mr. Pompeo said that the US "has played a fundamental role in enabling the growth and wealth we see throughout the Indo-Pacific today."

This work will continue, he said. It is clearly in America's strategic interest to deepen its involvement in the Indo-Pacific region.

References to the Indo-Pacific region reflect the symbolic nod of the United States towards India, and in May the US military changed the name of the military headquarters covering Asia and the Pacific Ocean from Pacific Command to Indo-Pacific Command Government used the term "Indo-Pacific" for the region last year, which has been known as Asia-Pacific for many years, even though it used to be called "Indo-Pacific."

Mr Pompeo's message comes Monday, as the government is trying to reshape its global trade relations.

Immediately after taking office, President Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a pact that governs trade between the US and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam

The remaining 1

1 countries of the TPP subsequently formed the comprehensive and progressive The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes much of the original agreement

The secretary acknowledged that some could question the US role in the region with regard to the withdrawal of the TPP, but assured the audience that the government was in favor of the TPP use the Indo-Pacific and seek "better bilateral trade of higher standard agreements.

Write to Courtney McBride at [email protected]


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