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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Promoting U.S. Economic Engagement with Asia

U.S. Senior Official for APEC Ambassador Hans Klemm; U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Davis Carden; and Boeing Vice President of International Government Relations Stanley Roth
Washington, DC
February 22, 2012

1:30 P.M., EST


MODERATOR: Good afternoon and welcome to the Foreign Press Center. Before we begin our briefing, I’d like to ask that if you have any kind of electronic devices that you either turn them to the silent position or you turn them off at this time. We are joined today by Ambassador Hans Klemm, APEC senior official; U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David Carden; Boeing Vice President of International Government Relations Mr. Stanley Roth.

They are going to talk about the Global Business Conference and U.S. engagement with Asia. Without further ado, I’m going to turn it over the floor to our briefers. I do want to flag for your attention though that Ambassador Carden has to leave about 45 – at about the 45 minute mark, so he will be departing 15 minutes early, so just for your reference. Okay? And without further ado, I’ll turn the briefing over to you all.

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Well, welcome everyone. Thanks for this opportunity to speak with you. We’ve just come from the business conference that was being held to talk about engagement with Asia and the rest of the world for American business. And I was a participant there with regard to the Asian piece, as you might imagine. I’ve been the ambassador to ASEAN for about 10 months now, and some piece of our portfolio – it’s a broad portfolio, of course – is related to the economic engagement with the region as ASEAN attempts to integrate across so many pillars by 2015.

American business is very interested in that, as is the world. We are very interested in being as helpful as possible and also creating opportunities for the development of the region. So I spoke to that issue today, as did others. And so I’m very grateful to have a chance to answer any questions you may have with regard to that or anything else that you think may relate to my portfolio.

MR. ROTH: My name is Stanley Roth. I’m vice president for international government relations at Boeing International, a position I’ve had for almost 11 years, and I’m quite honored to be part of this ambassadorial sandwich between two representatives of the Government of the United States, but I’m here in a private sector role.

In terms of my role at the conference, just completed – was easy. I was a participant. But what I really want to talk about is Boeing’s role, because Boeing played a major role. First, all the U.S. ambassadors in the region were asked to nominate business representatives either from the AmCham or who otherwise figured prominently to send representatives to this conference. Boeing received so many requests that we couldn’t send everybody that was requested, but we had three of our country presidents here, one from the Asia Pacific region. That was Ian Thomas from Australia. We also had our country presidents from the UK and Poland.

But the second Boeing role, and a very major one, was the Secretary of State asked Jim McNerney, the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the Boeing Company, to join her on the luncheon power to speak about global business, which he did. Mr. McNerney is also head of the President’s Export Council, so has two hats in terms of his interest in this conference.

I know we want to get off to a very quick start, so I’m not going to do anything more than just mention the three themes that Mr. McNerney made in his luncheon remarks, in case that triggers some questions. First was the importance of advocacy and a level playing field for American companies to do business. Second is strengthening institutional structures that support the ability of American companies to do business. For example, he talked at some length about the need to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, a critical organization for U.S. business. And third, he talked about further streamlining of the regulatory process. That could be a full-day conference, much less a one-hour panel up here, but in his remarks he emphasized in particular moving forward on export control reforms and on visas. And so his overall conclusion, that significant progress has been made in facilitating and promoting U.S. business but that more work needs to and must be done. Thank you.

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: I would also like to say thank you for giving me this opportunity to be with you this afternoon. My name is Hans Klemm. I’m the economic policy coordinator for our Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Department of State. And in that capacity, one of the roles I have is to be the senior official for the United States to the organization known as APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.

As mentioned, the conference this past several days was convened by Secretary Clinton. She invited business leaders as well the heads of our American Chambers of Commerce around the world to Washington to review how the State Department, in partnership with other agencies of the U.S. Government – the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury – could more effectively support the commercial and economic interests, again, around the world and not just in East Asia or the Pacific, and support the ability of U.S. companies to export goods and services as well as invest in countries around the world.

It was the first of its kind for the State Department to host a conference of this nature. The sense is that it was very successful, and we look to build on the – both the discussions and the partnerships created during the conference to accomplish its goals, which is to make it easier for U.S. companies to operate overseas, around the world. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Okay. So with that, we will open up the floor for questions. I’d just like to remind you to please state your name and your news organization before asking a question. So with that, questions from the audience?

Okay. I will start with New York. New York, go ahead, please.

QUESTION: Hi. This is Weihua Chen, China Daily. I want to ask about – visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping repeatedly urged a week ago in Washington, including at the State Department lunch, that the U.S. should lift the restriction on high-tech exports to China. I want to see if you have any comments on that, if you were to see any progress in that regard.

And also on the TPP, I want to see – I mean it’s being perceived, I mean, in China as a sort of agreement to sort of contain China. I mean, Columbia professor also wrote op-ed, I mean, in opposition of that. You have any comment on that, too? Thank you.

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: I can try both of those. On export controls – and Ambassador, if you have better details on this, please jump in, but I understand that the topic was discussed. Our export control regime is under constant review. And as the – both the technological development and the world environment permits, we will make adjustments to the regime. But I don’t have anything concrete to announce as a result of Vice President Xi’s visit.

On TPP, the policy of the United States is that participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is open to any member of APEC. However, to become a participant in the negotiations, countries have to meet a very high standard, as this trade agreement is probably the most ambitious in terms of its disciplines than any other that any set of countries has tried to establish. The process of creating the TPP really occurred organically. It was begun many years ago with a limited membership, and then it was decided by the Obama Administration to speak to those first original members and encourage them both to accept the idea of the United States becoming a member and then also to make membership open to other countries who are currently a member of APEC.

So in principle – and actually it is a goal of the United States that the TPP could be the very important stepping stone towards the goal that all members of APEC have set for themselves, to create a free trade area for the Asia Pacific area.

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: I’ll just add one piece. One of the goals of TPP is for it to be a living document, a living agreement, so that other nations can join when they are in a position to do so. And as Ambassador Klemm said, it predates the United States involvement with TPP by some years. So I think that it’s a mistaken notion for anyone to conclude that it has anything to do with containing an economic rise of China. Quite to the contrary, it is an agreement that is open to anyone for us – in order to organize and to create a free trade agreement and a regimen for this century in the AP – in the Asia Pacific region.

QUESTION: Thank you. Chin from The Straits Times of Singapore. Two quick questions, first one for Stanley. The new tax proposals unveiled by the Obama Administration today includes a proposal for a minimum tax on foreign earnings overseas. Is that going to be something that’s going to make U.S. companies less competitive in Asia?

And for the two ambassadors, in a report, I believe late last year, the US-ASEAN eminent persons group suggested that the U.S. form a top-level delegation to visit Asian countries to, I guess, rally for investments. Is that something that’s been talked about in the Administration? Is that likely to happen? Thank you.

MR. ROTH: Well, given that we just woke up to the package this morning, I can’t say that I’ve seen a rigorous analysis of it yet. So all I can do is tell you the perspective from which Boeing will approach the whole issue. And as you know, obviously it has to be passed by the Congress and there will be lots of consideration.

But the question is coming up with the revisions to the tax code that eliminate any disadvantages which make it harder or more expensive for American companies to do business overseas. One of the main themes of the conference, I think you’ll agree with me from the past two days, is that you have to have a level playing field on policy as well as on government advocacy in order to succeed in business and when you’re trying to export. And so that’s the framework in which we’ll look at it, but we haven’t yet done an analysis on the bill that I could comment on in any detail.

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: With regard to your second question, our ASEAN friends, as I suspect you know, have as part of their ambition to integrate across economic lines by 2015 and beyond. With regard to that, they have asked the world – anyone who’s interested – to come to ASEAN to engage with them on economic issues, to consider connectivity projects, for example. And so the United States is interested in creating an opportunity for American business to visit. Those visits will indeed take place. I think they’ll take place from other regions of the world as well.

I think you would see over the course of the coming years an increasing engagement with the world and ASEAN along those lines as a consequence of ASEAN’s ambitions. So I don’t have any specifics concerning the dates of any such ventures, but I do believe those things will begin to happen. And I think the engagement will be much broader than an occasional visit. I think it will be a sustained visit – pardon me, a sustained presence. And I expect that’ll be the case, as I said, for the rest of the world as well.

QUESTION: My name is Reasy Poch from the Voice of America Cambodian Service. And my question is for Ambassador Carden. You just mentioned that ASEAN is planning to form a common market by 2015. The level of economic development in each ASEAN countries are so different. Thailand is more advanced than Cambodia, for example. As an ambassador to ASEAN, what do you think that the U.S. can do or the international community can do to help in that direction, to help ASEAN in that aspect?

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Thank you for that question. I have been in Cambodia three or four times over the course of the last several months speaking to this issue and some broader issues concerning ASEAN, in part Cambodia’s chairmanship here. The ASEAN Charter foresees the development gaps that exist with regard to the Lower Mekong countries and has provisions for catching up, if you will. And there are situations which will take some time for them to actually get to the point where other ASEAN nations have already reached.

I think we can see that there’ll be engagement with regard to the connectivity projects. The connectivity agenda for ASEAN foresees the need for infrastructure development and people-to-people connectivity and the like, which will assist countries such as Cambodia and Laos to catch up, if you will. I think that’s the best way of saying it.

And so I think the connectivity opportunities really are going to be the most important vehicle for those countries to be in a position where they can be full participants and benefit from all of the increasing economic development in the region.

I think that the United States will provide – there will be opportunities for United States business to be engaged in those connectivity projects. Again, I think there will be opportunities for the rest of the world to be so engaged. And I think that’s good for everyone. I’ll hearken just the notion about the rules-based approach. What – there are, as we all know, deep needs in the ASEAN region. There’s trillions of dollars that are going to be necessary for the infrastructure development in the region.

To deploy that amount of money, there needs to be provisions and institutional protections for investors that are developing. And ASEAN is quite aware that it’s necessary for them to develop. So we need rule of law, we need transparency, we need bankruptcy protections, we need liquid markets, we need hedge products. We need situations where the world will come and invest the money that needs to be invested in ASEAN. And I believe the developing – the more developed countries in ASEAN also need to deploy their capital within the region as well because there is enormous capital in the region and it needs to be deployed in the – to the benefit of the region.

MODERATOR: Okay. Other questions? Do we have other questions also from New York? I will allow you to queue up, probably take this one.

QUESTION: Thank you. I’m Dat Pham from Vietnam News Agency. So Mr. Ambassador Carden, I would like to ask you about some cases of anti-dumping like with catfish between Vietnam U.S. Could you discuss between the two countries in TPP?

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Okay. I think Ambassador Klemm is in a better position to answer the TPP questions.

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: And I would probably rather defer to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office on any particular issue that is currently now under either dispute or efforts to resolve between the United States and Vietnam. The United – I can say that the United States welcomes Vietnam’s interest in the TPP and its partnership with the current group of countries that are negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership. There have been already 10 intense sets of negotiations that have occurred and the 11th is about to be launched in Melbourne, Australia next week. As I understand it, Vietnam has been an enthusiastic and constructive partner in those negotiations, and the United States hopes and expects that that will continue.

MODERATOR: Other questions?

QUESTION: Hi, I’m Ikki Yamakawa with Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper. I want to have some comment on the TPP with – as you know, the – it’s a pre-negotiation meeting now still ongoing between U.S. and Japan, and so I want to have your comment on that and how important for U.S. to include Japan in TPP prep framework.

And also the issues are exactly same as – which was held in 1980s and ’90s, like the automotive, agriculture, and insurance. So at that time, they all had very serious and furious negotiation between Japan and the U.S., and the case is exactly same as before. So at this moment, what kind of feeling do you have? You can – can you overcome those kind of barriers between the U.S. and Japan? How do you think about that?

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: Yeah. Again, I would refer you to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office regarding the meetings that are ongoing today. I can say that the United States welcomed Japan’s interest in the TPP and its consideration of joining the negotiations. I would say that the context is different today than what it was in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. I was part of that economic history between our two countries, and the focus of the TPP actually is quite broader than the relatively narrow issues that focus so much attention of our governments and our -- on our people than our industries back in the 1980s and early 1990s.

This is, as I mentioned before, considered the – to be the most ambitious and highest quality trade agreement ever to be considered by either two or more countries. As Ambassador Carden said, it’s also intended to be a living agreement, not only in terms of which countries are participants in the agreement, but I think also in terms of its scope. That is, as new generation trade and investment issues arise, that there will be a mechanism to capture those issues within the framework of the TPP.

For example, one of the primary topics – I shouldn’t say primary – one of the topics under consideration in the TPP is the role that state-owned enterprises play in some of the economies that are participating in the negotiations, and that simply wasn’t part of the trade disputes that were prevailing during parts of the 1980s and 1990s.

MODERATOR: Okay. Questions? Here.

QUESTION: Fan Yu from China, from China’s Xinhua News Agency. My question is: How far do you think the TPP negotiation will go beyond its current work in the year of 2012? Do you have any timelines for the negotiations? Thanks.

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: I’d just refer to the declaration issued by the leaders of the countries who declared themselves interested in negotiating the TPP in November of last year. They met in Honolulu around the same time as the leaders meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Organization. And the leaders at that time set themselves an ambitious goal of completing a draft TPP agreement by the end of this year. That remains a very ambitious goal, but that’s the one that the countries are participating in it have set for themselves.

MODERATOR: Right here.

QUESTION: Yongjian De – am I on?

MODERATOR: I’m sorry.

QUESTION: Okay. Yongjian De from China News Service. I think just last month, the President Obama has proposed to establish a committee which is – will be charged with overseeing fair trade practices in countries like China. And some media on the outside were – is a little bit worried about the trade war between Beijing and Washington. So do you have any comment on this once the unit began to operate?

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: Yes. You’re correct. What the Obama Administration proposed was a reorganization of the work that – it’s currently spread across a number of agencies in support of U.S. exporters, those either through a facilitation of exports by provision of financing, for example the U.S. Export-Import Bank, but then also the responsibilities for negotiating new agreements and the responsibilities for ensuring that past agreements are fully in force.

For example, some of those responsibilities are currently in the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and elsewhere, and the Administration, I think just in the past few days, formally delivered a package of legislation to Congress that would consolidate those functions. It remains to be seen whether Congress will act on the Administration’s proposals.

But I would not suggest that these changes are being undertaken in order to prepare the United States to enter into trade wars with China or any other country. I think, on the contrary, the U.S. taxpayer has demanded that the United States do a better job of ensuring that the obligations entered into through our various trade agreements by other countries are fully lived up to, whether it be bilateral agreements or multilateral agreements to the WTO. And I just note that the Administration, senior officials from the President and the Vice President and others, have commented that the visit last week of President Xi was a very positive thing and constructive, and resulted in the either resolution or the – or very important progress towards resolving some of the outstanding issues between our two countries.

MODERATOR: Other questions?

QUESTION: This is Minh Le from Vietnam TV. I would like to go back to the anti-dumping. We all know that the U.S. wants to limit the exports as well as to (inaudible) regions. And we also know that some products from these regions export to the U.S. – for example, exports from Vietnam and China and some other country – as now suffering from the anti-dumping rules from the U.S. against these products. Do you think that it is an unfair treatment? And do you think that this barrier affects the U.S. trade relation with these country in the region?

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: On specific anti-dumping actions, I would refer you to the Department of Commerce, who’s responsible for enforcing U.S. trade laws. The process that the government goes through in order – determining those penalties is actually quite detailed and laborious, and has been established, or has been functioning for decades. So I would counter the assertion, either explicit or implied, that the anti-dumping – recent anti-dumping actions are being taken to block imports unfairly. In fact, these have been laws that have been in place for a very long time. Penalties are exacted according to processes that have been functioning, again, for decades. And it’s not only the Asian countries by countries from around the world that occasionally find themselves the subject of anti-dumping and countervailing duty actions by the United States.

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: I’ll add one point. I think it’s important to remember that imports create jobs as well. Exports and imports create jobs. The important aspect of this is that the rules are lived up to. There’s no sense having agreement if the rules aren’t going to be followed, and so every mechanism that we’ve spoken about here in the last few moments about the efforts to enforce the various trade regimens that have been set are a function of trying to keep the rules being followed. But the notion that somehow imports are being precluded because they are problematic is – I think misses one point, which is that imports do create jobs as well as exports.

MODERATOR: Okay. And do we have other questions?

QUESTION: Yes. My name Khemara Sok. I work for Radio Voice of America for Cambodian service, too. As you know, ASEAN has long relationship with China politically and economically, and the U.S. has been fully engaged with ASEAN. Is that a bit late for the U.S. to compete with China as China grabs a lot of businesses?

AMBASSADOR CAREN: 2012 is the 35th anniversary of the United States engagement with ASEAN. We will be celebrating that this year with some proper ceremony. The charter of ASEAN was written in 2007 and adopted in 2008. ASEAN did not send ambassadors to the association itself until 2009. I arrived in 2011, but the Senate of the United States, on a bipartisan motion, decided to send an ambassador to ASEAN from the very beginning in 2006-2007, as soon as the charter was adopted by ASEAN. So I think, factually, it’s incorrect that the United States has not been engaged with ASEAN. As I said, it’s been 35 years and I don’t believe – there are too many more years that you could be engaged because ASEAN, when it first was formed in 1967, did not have a meeting for 10 years – or 8 years, I believe – 8 to 10 years. So from 1967 until 1975 or something such as that, ASEAN itself did not have a meeting. And since that time, the United States has been engaged with it very closely, and I don’t think that anything that you see now is anything other than the continued engagement of the United States.

MODERATOR: Okay. We have another question from New York go ahead, please.

QUESTION: Yeah, this is Wihua Chen, China Daily again. Yeah, I want to ask about the emerging markets like China, India, and Indonesia, other countries in Asia are playing a more important role in the economic picture of Asia-Pacific. How do you think the U.S. should adjust sort of its mentality in this new landscape? And the other question related to the previous question is how – okay, I think I ask this first. Thank you.

MR. ROTH: Why don’t I start because that has both a private sector aspect as well as a government aspect, and I think the answer is very clear, that trade is a far more important component of the U.S. economy than it was, let’s say when I was in graduate school in the 1970s, or even when I was a government official in the 1990s. You cannot be a successful multinational company now without focusing on some of these giants. Not every company’s going to be in every country, but it’s clear that markets like China and India with over a billion each, or growing markets with high rates like Indonesia, Vietnam, or actually ASEAN overall has a very high growth rate that these clearly are going to be the focus for American business.

One of the points that my CEO made yesterday at the conference is that companies like Boeing, for which I work, have to have a local presence, that it’s no longer the model, well, you just fly people out from the United States and conclude deals, that you have to be focused on the markets, have local presence, know the customers. It has to be more of a partnership. So there is a great deal of priority on these particular countries, but generally on developing markets, emerging markets around the world.

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Want to take a comment?


AMBASSADOR CARDEN: I think it’s important to put this in some context. After World War Two, when the world began to develop an economy and Europe was rebuilt, there have been emerging markets of all kind through that entire time period. The United States is engaged with those emerging markets at various points in time. Many of the developed countries now were emerging markets at some point. And so it’s quite natural that they – the most recent emerging markets would recall our call for a full engagement by the developed part of the world.

It’s also the case that these developing economies are in the different places. Some of them are in need of various infrastructure. Some of them have more developed infrastructure. They’re in different places. So I think that what you’re seeing is simply the continuum of the – what I’d characterize as the rule-based evolution of a world economy that is of course much closer together now, globalization having taken place even more rapidly of late. But I think that it’s very consistent with what’s happened since – say the last 50 or 60 years.


QUESTION: I have one more question about the South China Seas conflicts. Is among ASEAN’s members and is still a problem now. But what is the U.S. commitment, especially when Cambodia as the chairman of ASEAN and the host country?

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Well, as everyone knows, the United States is not a claimant in the South China Sea. The United States, like the rest of the world, is a stakeholder, however. And it’s a stakeholder for the following reasons: It’s a stakeholder because the United States and the rest of the world cares deeply not only about maritime security and the transit of goods through the South China Sea, but following the rules and following international law.

So the United States interest in the South China Sea is to see that international law is followed and that the ASEAN claimant states and the ASEAN members as well enter into to discussions – peaceful discussions – with China, and amongst themselves, I might say, as well because there are competing claims amongst ASEAN countries for the peaceful resolution of any disputes that might arise.

MODERATOR: Okay. Do we have other questions, either in New York or here?

I see someone. We’ll go to New York, please.

QUESTIONAsia News. U.S. and Korea free trade agreement will be effect next month. And my question is that: What do you think about the relationship between TPPN U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement , and what do you think about the role of U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement in U.S. economic policy in Asia?

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: The United States is very excited that we were able to conclude the discussions that have been taking place recently on implementation of the Korean-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. As mentioned, it’ll go into effect very soon – on March 15th. The United States believes that the Korean-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is really a landmark in the relationship between the Republic of Korea and the U.S., but also marks a determination by the United States to enter into very high quality, high standard free trade agreements, both multilaterally as well as bilaterally.

There – estimates of what impact the agreement will have are still, I think – even the most sophisticated economists would agree are still pretty fuzzy, but we anticipate that by just the tariff reductions in the agreement alone, that perhaps up to 70,000 new American jobs will be created. And during the conference that took place at the State Department over the past two days, representatives of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, including Ambassador Kirk, very much welcomed the entry into force of our bilateral trade agreement.

MODERATOR: Ambassador Carden does have to leave at 1:15. I want to flag that for your attention, so if you have other questions for him before he has to depart, please do ask now.

QUESTION: Can I ask you one quick – more question?


QUESTION: Earlier, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Yun visited Cambodia and he kind of mentioned that President Obama will attend – or might attend the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia in November. Can you confirm that?

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Well, I haven’t seen Mr. Yun’s comments. I can say that the EAS and the U.S. Leaders meetings will take place in November, and it is my belief and expectation that President Obama will be present, as he was present in Bali in November.

MODERATOR: Okay. Other questions?

QUESTION: One more quick question for Ambassador Carden. The ASEAN drafting the COCs, code of conducts. What is the U.S. position to that point?

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: The code of conduct is a – perhaps the next step in ASEAN’s management of the South China Sea issues with China. We are not involved in the code of conduct, the drafting of it or in any consultations concerning it. It is our understanding that ASEAN is preparing a draft, or at least a draft of some points that would go into a code of conduct, which it will share with China at some point sometime this year. It’s unclear to me exactly when that would be, but that’s my understanding.

MODERATOR: Okay. Are there other questions?

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Let me just say to everyone I apologize that I have to leave. This was a preexisting arrangement so – and I think unless anyone has any more questions for me, I’ll be stepping out so as not to interrupt the flow of the next questions.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Thank you, everyone.

MODERATOR: Are there any other questions from the audience?


QUESTION: My question is: What do you think the stronger U.S. economic engagement with China – with Asia will do to the existing trading relationship – partner relationship among Asian countries?

MR. ROTH: Well, from a business perspective, I think it’s very straightforward. The more political stability there is in the region, the more that countries are getting along, I think the better the environment is for business to prosper. And so the business community certainly wishes to see the engagement – U.S. stay engaged in the region. The U.S. has been the balancer in the region. It’s been a source – most people credit the U.S. presence of engagement for having maintained stability for decades and has allowed Asia to have the enormous growth that it’s had to date. And certainly from the business perspective, we’d like to see that continue into the future. I think it’s a win-win for everybody.

AMBASSADOR KLEMM: Yeah, I would just add the Obama Administration views the economic potential of the Asia Pacific region as probably being the greatest of any region in the world and has very deliberately tried to rebalance its foreign policy in order to place additional resources, whether diplomatic, strategic, or economic, in the Asia Pacific region in order to allow Americans – of companies and individuals, to tap into the potential that exists in the Asia-Pacific region.

This was the topic of the President’s speech that he made in Honolulu in November. Secretary Clinton has also spoken to the rebalancing or pivoting of U.S. engagement to strengthen our presence in order to realize our national interests. And I think it was very gratifying to hear from a senior member of the U.S. business community that the current American effort to strengthen our engagement is welcomed.

MODERATOR: Do you have other questions, either here or in New York?

Okay. Well, there are no further questions. We will conclude the briefing there. Thank you very much for attending.

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