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Expanding U.S. Economic Engagement in Indo-Pacific

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the Indo-Pacific Business Forum at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, July 30, 2018.

U.S. business engagement is a staple of America's mission to promote peace, stability, and prosperity

Expanding U.S. Economic Engagement in Indo-Pacific
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Last year, the Administration of President Donald Trump unveiled its Indo-Pacific Strategy, built around the concept of a strong coalition of like-minded regional democracies advancing a free, open, and rules based order.

On July 30th, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the strategy’s economic and commercial pillars. “The Trump administration is committed to expanding our economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said. “U.S. business engagement is a staple of our mission to promote peace, stability, and prosperity:”

“Our strategy seeks to catalyze American businesses to do what they do best. President Trump also expects our commitment to generate greater support for a free and open Indo-Pacific from all countries that share our vision of a region rooted in sovereignty, the rule of law, and sustainable prosperity.”

The United States is dedicating 113 million dollars toward “new U.S. initiatives to support foundational areas of the future: digital economy, energy, and infrastructure. These funds represent just a down payment on a new era in U.S. economic commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The Secretary stated that, “The first initiative is the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, a 25 million dollar initial investment to improve partner countries’ digital connectivity and expand opportunities for U.S. technology exports.

“The second initiative, Asia EDGE, stands for Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy. Through Asia EDGE, we will invest nearly 50 million dollars this year alone to help Indo-Pacific partners import, produce, move, store, and deploy their energy resources.

Finally, to boost infrastructure development, the Secretary announced that the United States is launching an Infrastructure Transaction and Assistance Network, a whole-of-government initiative, seeded with nearly 30 million dollars for the establishment of a new interagency body to coordinate U.S. government tools to promote infrastructure development.

This initiative also establishes a new Indo-Pacific Transaction Advisory Fund to help partner countries access private legal support (and other expertise as needed) to help Indo-Pacific countries during complex project negotiations.

“Our Indo-Pacific vision excludes no nation. We seek to work with anyone to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, so long as that cooperation adheres to the highest standards that our citizens demand,” said Secretary Pompeo.“The United States is committed to growing our presence in the region because we want Americans and all people of the Indo-Pacific to share in the economic growth of 2020, 2030, 2040, and beyond.”