US President Barack Obama will host eight of the ten leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)[i] in New York on Friday, September 24, 2010 at the 2nd US ASEAN Summit. The meeting underlines renewed American policy energy being invested in Southeast Asia. Headlines from the discussion should focus on three areas …
The gap in US strategy for intensifying its engagement in Southeast Asia is clearly trade. While the United States is starting to connect the dots diplomatically and on security architecture, our trade professionals, some of the most hard-core, experienced Southeast Asia hands in the Administration, are essentially benched as they wait for political and policy decisions to put the US trade leadership back into the game.
a deadlocked parliament means probable concessions to the Greens by whichever party can form a government and may result in questioning engagement in Afghanistan and reduce Australia’s clout in Asian regionalism in the short term.
The 2nd US ASEAN Summit needs to be held in Washington, DC. When inviting ten foreign leaders from a strategically vital region to meet the President of the United States, symbolism and form are vitally important. The Washington choice sends the right messages at the right time.