Dr Satu Limaye
East West Center in Washington, USA
Date: 29 September 2017
Venue : ISIS Malaysia
President Trump is expected to make his first visit to Asia in November 2017 for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, East Asia Summit (EAS) and bilateral meetings with leaders of regional countries. This presentation offers one American perspective prior to the visit on the continuities and divergences between the Obama and Trump Administrations regarding Southeast Asia, developments in U.S.-Southeast Asia relations during the first nine months of the Trump Administration and the prospects for U.S. bilateral and multilateral ties with Southeast Asia. It argues that there are clear differences (and uncertainties) regarding the Trump Administration versus the Obama Administration’s approaches to Southeast Asia. However, the weight and diversity of American interests in Southeast Asia remains a constant, and the Trump Administration has pursued active ties with regional countries. Key unknowns that remain include the relative balance between key drivers of U.S.-Southeast Asia ties as well as between diplomacy/defense and trade/investment elements of ties.