From: The Honorable Denny Heck
Sent By:

Date: 2/14/2017

Deadline: February 16 COB

Cosigners: Byrne,
Heck, Wagner,
Castro, Brady (PA),
Bordallo, Lieu,
Velazquez, Polis,
Dent, Titus,

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in sending a letter to President Trump encouraging him to make an early commitment to attend the 12th East Asia Summit (EAS), which will take place in Manila later this year. This annual summit, convened by the Association of South East Asian
Nations (ASEAN), brings together the heads of state from the ten ASEAN member countries—Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—and major powers in the region including China, Russia, Japan, South
Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

The United States joined the summit in 2011, further elevating the EAS as one of the most important forums for addressing challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region. The President’s attendance at the summit has been a visible symbol of American commitment,
and we believe it is important that this continue under the new administration.

To sign on, please contact Erik Ashida in the office of Rep. Denny Heck ( or Chad Carlough ( in the
office of Rep. Bradley Byrne by COB on February 16.


Bradley Byrne                               Denny Heck                                Ann Wagner                              Joaquin Castro

Member of Congress                     Member of Congress                    Member of Congress                 Member of Congress


Letter Text:

Dear President Trump:

As Members of Congress with an abiding interest in Southeast Asia, we write to respectfully encourage your administration to continue and strengthen U.S. engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN is home to two U.S. treaty allies and many close strategic partners, who have played a critical role in addressing challenges such as maritime security, terrorism, piracy, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and human trafficking.

Economically, ASEAN also has enormous significance for the United States. As a single entity, the ten ASEAN countries would have a population of 626 million people and a combined annual GDP of approximately $2.4 trillion. ASEAN countries are some of the
fastest-growing in the world and represent an increasingly important market for U.S. companies, with more than 560,000 U.S. jobs supported by exports to ASEAN.

Over time, ASEAN has also become the convener of summits and meetings which play an important role in diplomacy throughout the Asia Pacific region. Support for ASEAN institutions has been a bipartisan priority. Beginning with President Clinton, the United
States has participated in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) since its establishment in 1994. President George W. Bush established a permanent mission to ASEAN in Jakarta in 2008, and President Obama ratified the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia
and joined the East Asia Summit in 2009.

ASEAN plays a critical role supporting a peaceful, rules-based international order in Asia, and we hope that you and your administration will continue to invest time and effort to strengthen our partnership with ASEAN, through both robust bilateral engagement
with individual member states, and support for ASEAN as an institution.

In particular, we believe that your personal attendance at the East Asia Summit later this year would be a strong affirmation of America’s resolute dedication to the Asia-Pacific region. We hope that you will make an early commitment to attend the summit.
We appreciate your consideration and will work in a bipartisan manner to support active engagement by the United States in Southeast Asia.