January 27, 2017

Castro, Wagner Announce Launch of Congressional Caucus on ASEAN

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-02) announced the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on ASEAN. The Caucus aims to strengthen ties between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and foster a dialogue on Capitol Hill around issues related to Southeast Asia. 

“ASEAN plays a significant role in the global economy and in matters of global security. It’s essential that members of Congress are informed of events occurring in that region and grasp the importance of our nation’s engagement there,” said Congressional Caucus on ASEAN founding Co-Chair Joaquin Castro, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “President Obama took meaningful steps to focus our nation’s attention toward Southeast Asia, and I hope our Caucus builds on that momentum. I thank Congresswoman Wagner for leading this new group with me, and I look forward to increased discussion with our colleagues on ASEAN-related matters.”

“I have been inspired by Missouri’s significant Southeast Asian-American community to co-found the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN. This caucus will focus on issues critical to American economic and security interests with Southeast Asia, from economic leadership and political transparency, to security alliances,” said Congresswoman Wagner, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. “The 10 ASEAN countries represent the world’s seventh largest economy and third largest labor force. Congress must recognize the need for enhanced dialogue with our Southeast Asian peers, and I’m grateful to lead this new group with Congressman Castro.”

ASEAN, a 10-member group of nations, is Southeast Asia's primary multilateral organization. Member nations are Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. ASEAN has a combined population of 626 million people and a combined annual gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately $2.4 trillion.