White House Office of the Press Secretary
September 7, 2007
United States Cooperation with Southeast Asia
Today, President Bush Met With Leaders From Seven Southeast Asian Economies Participating In The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings. These countries are also members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
President Bush Announced, And The Leaders Of The ASEAN Nations Welcomed, The Creation Of The Position Of United States Ambassador To ASEAN. This Ambassador will work with ASEAN nations to deepen the already strong and robust U.S.-ASEAN relationship.
President Bush Expressed His Intent To Host A Meeting Of ASEAN Leaders To Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of U.S.-ASEAN Relations.
President Bush And The Southeast Asian Leaders Hailed The Growing Cooperation Under The U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership, Announced Under The Leadership Of President Bush And ASEAN Leaders In 2005. They also discussed other regional issues, including U.S.-ASEAN trade cooperation, the disconcerting human rights situation in Burma, regional security, and counterterrorism cooperation.
President Bush And The ASEAN Leaders Noted The Wide Range Of Work Accomplished On Eight Priority Areas For Cooperation Under The Enhanced Partnership Since 2005. All this work is in addition to the substantial bilateral cooperation between the United States and individual ASEAN countries:
- Economics: The United States and ASEAN have developed an extensive program of cooperation to support ASEAN's economic integration. On intellectual property rights, for example, more than 800 ASEAN officials have attended workshops, training, and other activities organized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Health: The United States has supported an expert on pandemic preparedness and avian influenza at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. We have also provided support and technical assistance to help ASEAN tackle HIV/AIDS and other public health problems.
- Scholarships: The Fulbright Commission has launched an ASEAN Visiting Scholars Program open to foreign affairs officials, scholars, and researchers working on issues central to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship.
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT): The United States is supporting an assessment of ASEAN's integration of the region's ICT sectors and has provided increased ICT capability to the ASEAN Secretariat.
- Transport: The United States has provided an assessment of the logistics sector in ASEAN, including its transport and communications infrastructure. This work contributed to ASEAN's plans to integrate freight, transport, and other logistics services to move goods more cheaply and efficiently.
- Disaster Management: The U.S. has been a major provider of assistance in response to natural disasters in Southeast Asia. We will continue to provide support and training for disaster response and management in the coming year.
- Environment: The U.S. supports environmental programs and improved wildlife conservation in Southeast Asia. The U.S.-supported ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) has already broken several wildlife trafficking rings and was showcased by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES).
- Energy: The U.S. and ASEAN have organized workshops on clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean coal.
President Bush And The Leaders Of ASEAN Nations Also Discussed The Important Progress Made In Trade And Investment Relations Under The U.S.-ASEAN Trade And Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Signed In 2006.
- Ongoing consultations under the TIFA are aimed at supporting deeper intra-ASEAN economic integration and U.S.-ASEAN trade ties in the specific areas of the ASEAN Single Window for customs clearance, pharmaceutical regulatory harmonization, and sanitary and phytosanitary policy.
- The President and ASEAN Leaders discussed the importance and benefits to Southeast Asian countries of success in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations.
- The United States and Singapore have a highly successful Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed in 2003. The United States and Thailand launched FTA negotiations in 2004, and the United States and Malaysia commenced FTA talks in 2006.