Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

ASEAN Caucus to POTUS: Nominate ASEAN Ambassador

Jun 12, 2018
Press Release

Co-Chairs Wagner, Castro Lead Effort to Highlight Vacant Post, Importance of Promoting Free and Open Indo-Pacific

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and founding co-chair of the ASEAN Caucus, and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-02), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Financial Services Committee and founding co-chair of the ASEAN Caucus, urged President Trump to nominate a U.S. Ambassador to the Associate of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Last year, we launched the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN to strengthen ties with our partners in the region and foster a robust dialogue on Capitol Hill around issues related to Southeast Asia,” the Members wrote.

The Members continued: “The U.S. Mission to ASEAN has now gone over a year without an Ambassador, the longest period since the position was created. Last fall, you articulated your vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and we believe that nominating an Ambassador to ASEAN will help promote your priorities in engaging our partners and allies in the region.”

The letter was signed by Reps. Ami Bera (CA-07); Rick Larsen (WA-02); Ted Lieu (CA-33); Dave Reichert (WA-08); Pramila Jayapal (WA-07); and Denny Heck (WA-10).

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

 

June 11, 2018

Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to request you expeditiously nominate an Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). We were pleased with your attendance at the 5th U.S.-ASEAN Summit last fall, and appreciate your Administration’s ongoing engagement with this important organization.

Last year, we launched the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN to strengthen ties with our partners in the region and foster a robust dialogue on Capitol Hill around issues related to Southeast Asia. ASEAN is experiencing tremendous growth, and the 10 member countries have established a major regional economic integration agenda. ASEAN has become America’s 4th largest goods exports market, and over half of U.S. congressional districts export over $100 million to ASEAN each year. The U.S. is the single largest investor in Southeast Asia, and U.S. companies have invested more there than Chinese, Japanese, and Korean companies combined.

ASEAN is also a strategic partner to the U.S., and the U.S.-ASEAN relationship is critical to promoting maritime security, human rights, and other U.S. interests. Standing alongside our ASEAN partners is especially important as we grapple with increased Chinese aggression in the South China Sea; the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma; and the need to engage with ASEAN leaders to support the global effort to apply pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs.

We are proud that the United States was the first non-ASEAN country to name an Ambassador to ASEAN in 2008. In June 2010, the United States became the first non-ASEAN country to establish a dedicated Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, and in 2011, the United States took the lead in appointing the first resident Ambassador to ASEAN. The U.S. Mission to ASEAN has now gone over a year without an Ambassador, the longest period since the position was created. Last fall, you articulated your vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and we believe that nominating an Ambassador to ASEAN will help promote your priorities in engaging our partners and allies in the region.

Given the importance of our economic and security relationship with ASEAN, we ask you to act swiftly in nominating an Ambassador to ASEAN. Thank you for your consideration and your engagement with this region.

Sincerely,

Ann Wagner, Co-Chair

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN

Joaquin Castro, Co-Chair

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN

Ami Bera, Member

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN

Rick Larsen, Member

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN                

Ted Lieu, Member

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN                

Dave Reichert, Member

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN                

Pramila Jayapal, Member

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN                

Denny Heck, Member

Congressional Caucus on ASEAN                

# # #