The United States is a Pacific nation, and as such has an enormous stake in the people and the future of Southeast Asia.
The region is home to some of our largest trading partners and buys many of our exports, supporting millions of American jobs. We need partnerships with the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and other nations there to meet the challenges of growing our economy, preventing nuclear proliferation and addressing climate change. The U.S. works constantly to strengthen old alliances there and deepen new ones.
Toward that end, top U.S. officials met recently with their counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, in the 28th in a series of annual dialogues aimed at reinforcing our strategic partnership with the region. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to jointly realize solutions to pressing global, regional and transnational issues affecting the region, including climate change, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and recent developments in the South China Sea. The United States and ASEAN also discussed the migrant situation in Southeast Asia and the need to work expeditiously to save lives and to address the underlying challenges that contribute to the migration.
The very productive discussions in the Dialogue are a tangible demonstration of our commitment to a rebalance of U.S. foreign policy towards Asia.