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The United States and Southeast Asia Under the Trump Administration

26 September 2017 – Dr Satu Limaye, Director of the East West Center in Washington, delivered a presentation in a seminar hosted by the ASEAN Studies Centre, on “The United States and Southeast Asia Under the Trump Administration”. During this session, Dr Limaye offered several insights regarding the changes and continuities that would mark the Trump administration’s relationship with ASEAN, and the implications that these developments would have for the region. 


Dr Tang Siew Mun, Head ASEAN Studies Centre, moderating the seminar with Dr Satu Limaye. (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Dr Limaye discussed in particular the unique aspects of the Trump administration, stressing its ‘deal-making’ approach to diplomacy vis-à-vis America’s traditional commitment to post-1945 international institutions. Dr Limaye stressed that this would have tremendous implications for Southeast Asia, as no single overarching ‘deal’ could be struck with ASEAN, owing to the diversity of its member states.


From left to right: Dr Satu Limaye, Prof Wang Gangwu and Dr Lee Peng Shu. (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Dr Limaye also addressed various issues of concern for ASEAN, including the impact of the nuclear crisis in the Korean peninsula, the US’ position regarding human rights issues in the region, and America’s perspective on a code of conduct for the South-China Sea. Dr Limaye also expressed his optimism regarding the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the USA’s place in subsequent negotiations.


The audience included academics, business leaders, students and members of the media. (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Dr Limaye’s seminar signals the official launch of the latest edition of the ASEAN Matters for America booklet, which seeks to highlight the inextricably close relations between ASEAN and the US. The online edition can be found in this link.

Approximately 70 people, including academics, business leaders, students and members of the media attended the lecture.