10 September 2017
The leaders of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have a uphill task in their upcoming White House visits if they are to redirect the gaze of a famously ‘America First’ president towards Southeast Asia.
With extreme weather, gridlock on Capitol Hill and a high stakes game of nuclear chicken with North Korea preoccupying President Donald Trump, the prime ministers of the three countries must pull out all the stops to achieve a unified objective: Convince the leader of the world’s largest economy to scale back his protectionist agenda, and keep the region firmly in his sights.
“I think ultimately the main objective is to secure some measure of reassurance of American interest in and commitment to the region,” said Joseph Liow, Dean of Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
“Southeast Asia seldom commands much attention in Washington,” added Liow. “What that means is that greater effort is necessary from regional leaders to ensure that the region is on the radar of American foreign policy discussions.”
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 11/09/2017