Last November, as I was traveling traveling through Asia with Secretary Kerry and President Obama, I blogged about the many points of progress that have resulted from our Rebalance to Asia policy, from burgeoning trade and investment figures to strengthened alliance and security partnerships, and from enhanced environmental protection efforts to increased cooperation on global issues. America is a Pacific nation, and our rebalance policy supports America’s strong and growing interest in Asia and the Pacific.
Earlier this month, I traveled to New York City and met with several organizations and individuals who care deeply about Asia, outlining what the United States hopes to achieve with its Asia policy in 2015. I explained that with our allies and partners across the whole region, we’ve been addressing issues that matter to all of us, including climate change, the threat from violent extremism, the problem of Ebola, and challenges to and opportunities for development, security, and economic prosperity. Our engagement underscores the strength and the global consequence of cooperation and our emphasis on what together, across the Pacific, we can get done across the world.
I gave a speech at the Japan Society where I kicked off our commemoration of a very special year; 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the creation of the United Nations. The past 70 years have been an extraordinary era of stability and prosperity for the United States and Japan, and I have great hope for and confidence in the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship. This anniversary year is an excellent chance to give thanks to a partnership that has embodied what Secretary Kerry has dubbed “miraculous change,” and is progressing ever further.
At the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), I met with a diverse set of business leaders, all of whom shared an understanding of the importance of America’s economic relations with the East Asia-Pacific region. As I told them: "America’s prosperity and Asia’s prosperity are inseparable."
In my talk at BCIU, I said that the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is right at the top of our economic agenda for 2015. TPP will be a big boost for the U.S. economy. Exports already account for over 11 million American jobs. By expanding access to some of the largest and most dynamic economies in the world, TPP will make those numbers even stronger.
2015 holds significant anniversaries for the United States and several of our allies and partners in the region. We look forward to commemorating all of these milestones throughout the year, and I hope all of you follow us (including on our new Twitter account, @USAsiaPacific) as we continue implementing the President’s Asia Rebalance policy.
About the Author: Daniel Russel serves as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.