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United States and Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ministers Meet to Advance Job-Promoting Trade Initiatives

06/13/2013

Washington, D.C. – Today, Acting U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro led a high-level interagency U.S. delegation in a meeting with trade ministers and other senior economic officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which kicked off the Washington leg of the week-long ASEAN “Road Show,” highlighting job-promoting trade and economic opportunities between the United States and ASEAN. 

The high-level representation reflects the growing importance of U.S. economic ties to ASEAN, which collectively is our fourth largest export market. The ASEAN delegation included Brunei Darussalam Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng, Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed, Myanmar Minister of National Planning and Economic Development U Kan Zaw, Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr. Viyaketh Nam, and Philippine Secretary of Trade Gregory Domingo. Joining Ambassador Sapiro were Acting Secretary of Commerce Cam Kerry, Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sánchez, and State Department Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph Yun. 

“Further deepening our ties to ASEAN is a priority for the United States, and I am pleased that this week’s ASEAN Road Show, which began in California and culminated in Washington, D.C., has highlighted the opportunities to promote jobs through enhanced trade and investment between us,” said Ambassador Sapiro. “We believe that today’s discussions will propel our efforts to further our economic partnership, which holds significant promise, especially as ASEAN works to achieve full regional economic integration by 2015.” 

In today’s meeting, U.S. and ASEAN officials discussed concrete initiatives to deepen their economic ties and create new opportunities that would benefit their businesses and workers. They sought progress on work underway as part of the U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Economic Engagement Initiative (E3), launched last year by President Obama and the ten ASEAN Leaders. The ministers also exchanged views on regional initiatives and how they could work together to support a successful World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial meeting in Bali in December. 

U.S.-ASEAN Trade Facts 

U.S. goods trade with ASEAN was $198 billion in 2012, making the ten countries of ASEAN collectively the fourth largest U.S. export market and fifth largest overall trading partner. U.S. trade in services with ASEAN countries totaled $30 billion in 2011 (latest available data). Collectively, the ASEAN nations represent a top five market for U.S. farmers and ranchers, with U.S. agricultural exports in 2012 of nearly $10 billion. U.S. foreign direct investment in ASEAN totaled more than $159 billion in 2011 (latest available data).