February 17, 2021

Castro and Wagner Introduce Southeast Asia Strategy Act

WASHINTON – Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), co-chairs and co-founders of the Congressional Caucus on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), introduced the Southeast Asia Strategy Act.

“Southeast Asia is an increasingly important region that is critical to America’s security and prosperity,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact. “This legislation will ensure that the United States has a coherent strategy that engages countries in the region with mutual respect, while making ASEAN central to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

“A secure and independent Southeast Asia greatly benefits the United States and contributes to the prosperity of our local economies,” said Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Vice Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “With the People’s Republic of China aggressively seeking to expand its influence in the region via coercive diplomacy and predatory lending practices, it is more important than ever that the United States prioritize robust and sustained engagement with its Southeast Asian partners and allies. This bill will strengthen our cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and enhance our partnerships in this strategically critical region.”

The Southeast Asia Strategy Act would deepen U.S. engagement with ASEAN and its member states by instructing the United States to develop a coherent and clearly communicated regional strategy that addresses all aspects of the relationship, from trade and humanitarian goals to diplomatic and security arrangements.

Read the one pager here.