The United States considers a good relationship with countries of the Asia-Pacific region to be a top priority. "There should be no doubt that the United States, itself, is a Pacific nation," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell. "In every regard -- geopolitically, militarily, diplomatically, and economically -- Asia and the Pacific are indispensable to addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of the 21st century."
Free trade and strong economic engagement remain critical pillars for U.S. relations in East Asia and the Pacific, said Assistant Secretary Campbell. "[Our] trade with Asia is increasing faster than [with] any other region in the world. ... American and Asian economies are growing increasingly interdependent while forging the global economic recovery."
During the first year of the Obama administration, the U.S. has demonstrated its intent to be a significant player in the Asia-Pacific region through high-profile visits of the senior U.S. leadership, including those of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as by actively participating at high-level regional meetings, such as APEC, ASEAN and the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. And the U.S. will remain engaged, because working with allies and partners is critical to solving some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, said Assistant Secretary Campbell.
"Over the course of the next few decades, climate change, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and widespread poverty will pose the most significant challenges to the United States and the rest of the region. These challenges will continue to be highly acute in East Asia. This situation demands that the United States play a leading role, including by strengthening and broadening our alliances, building new partnerships, and enhancing capacity of multilateral organizations," said Assistant Secretary Campbell.
"The Asia-Pacific region is vital not only to U.S. regional interests but its global ones as well. We are a vital contributor to the region’s security and economic success. The Asia-Pacific region, in turn, has a profound impact on our lives through trade, our alliances, and partnerships," he said. "As the region continues to grow economically and as new dynamics and international institutions take shape, the United States will be an active player, not a distant spectator."