Thursday, April 20, 2017

With the TPP all but dead, the Trump White House with it's Goldman staff can actually reset the USA relationship with Southeast Asia.

The United States is ASEAN’s third largest trading partner, (click here) after China ($346 billion) and Japan ($239 billion) respectively, with trade between the two sides reaching more than $212 billion (PDF) in 2015. This accounts for approximately 9 percent of ASEAN's total trade. The United States also has launched sub-regional and bilateral initiatives to boost ties with Southeast Asia, including the Lower Mekong Initiative to deepen cooperation between the United States and ASEAN members Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam on issues related to the environment, health, education, and infrastructure development. Four ASEAN members (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam) have also joined the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement among twelve nations....

The motto "One Visions, One Identity and One Community" (click here) is exactly what the TPP and Wall Street was demanding. There are vast differences between all these countries and certainly differences with the USA; to make them into a conglomerate endangers their cultures and any possibility at a quality of life their people deserve.

The new administration can actually begin anew the relationships with these countries. They are not only expecting it, they are hoping it is forthcoming in definitive ways that mark trade and better economic ties with the USA for every country.

I will say this, while Goldman employees might make good worker bees, that doesn't scream diversity at me. Given the fact Paulson has his own financial exchange in China, there will be holiday party remembrances that will spell sameness and TPP.

April 20, 2017
By Xuan Loc Doan

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s stop (click here) in Jakarta this week will mark the first visit to Indonesia and Southeast Asia by a top official in the administration of Donald Trump. Pence will meet with Le Luong Minh, secretary general of the 10-member ASEAN group.

The visit will provide clues as to how the Trump presidency approaches America’s relations with not only ASEAN’s biggest member but also the regional group as a whole. US Southeast Asia policy has been unclear since Trump’s stunning election victory in November.

Indonesia is the third leg of the former Indiana governor’s four-country Asia-Pacific tour that began April 15. His first two stops were South Korea and Japan and followed similar first-time visits by US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February and March. The significance of such high-level trips confirms that the Trump administration attaches great importance to the United States’ ties with its two key regional allies....

It sincerely should be up to the leaders of these countries at their meeting of ASEAN to bring forth their best trade opportunities. The more diversified the offering the better chance of agreements that are unique as well as profitable. The potential for cultural awareness being part of a unique trade agreement is very possible. There are growth in Asian populations in the USA, some cling to their culture, but, don't have good American substitutes. I would expect Vietnam to come forward with potential exports of cultural meaning to the population in the USA. That is only one aspect of trade.

Again, with Vietnam, their leadership is concerned about the ocean borders with China and it's mineral rights, including petroleum. Those are all aspects of trade with the USA that can be ironed out in exacting longitudes and latitudes of product access.

ASEAN has a great opportunity before it and for it's people. Instead of slave labor for Wall Street, real opportunity to increase cultural exchanges including music and art along with some natural resources while protecting endangered plants and animals. Vietnam knows to well the devastating effects of Agent Orange on it's beautiful tropical forests.

Those forests can produce incredible tropical hardwoods and need to be restored and nurtured with help from the USA with grants to scientists involved with silvaiulture. Tropical hardwoods are high end incomes for these countries and should be pursued with vigor. Protecting forests have many benefits including as a sink for greenhouse gases. I would think Vietnam would find an ally in the US Senate with Senator John McCain who may have help for restoration of such natural resources as it's tropical rainforests.

I am looking forward to the outcome with the ASEAN meeting. I hope it begin a new relationship with the USA in each country having it's own values and trade ideas.

The United Nations should have already been working with these countries to bring about a sustainable economy and trade scheme for quality of life for their people.

Banking and oil is not everything and far from it.