US-ASEAN Business Council Congratulates Newly Elected American Leadership; Pledges to Work Towards Building Stronger Ties Between the United States and Southeast Asia

(Washington, DC) The US-ASEAN Business Council and its members congratulate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Senator Kamala D. Harris on their victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. The Council salutes and congratulates the American people whose turnout is projected to be the largest in American history, proving that the American Experiment which started with the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, is alive and well. Furthermore, we are proud to see Vice President-elect Harris make history by becoming the first woman and first bi-racial American to ever hold the position. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris garnered more than 74 million votes and counting – more than any other presidential slate in U.S. history.

The Council looks forward to working with the Biden Administration to reimagine and invigorate the United States’ engagement with the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) and each of its member countries. When the President-elect was Vice President, the Obama Administration strongly supported engagement with ASEAN, including seeing the President lead American delegations to seven of the eight ASEAN Summits during his two terms in office. ASEAN matters to America’s economic interests and we hope the Biden Administration will pick up the Southeast Asia strategy where the Obama team left off to ensure that great American products and services reach this important area of the world.

“With the world’s third largest population and fifth largest economy, ASEAN is critical to American economic, political, security and strategic interests now and well into the future,” said Alexander Feldman, Chairman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “Almost 60 percent of ASEAN’s population is under 35 years of age. Southeast Asia’s young population is one of the many reasons why ASEAN is the fourth largest export market for American made goods. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration to further our trade and economic interests in one of the most dynamic regions of the world.”

Many Southeast Asian leaders, including Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and Indonesia President Joko Widodo, have already congratulated the President-elect.

“In the area of U.S. international trade policy towards Southeast Asia, the next administration will face challenges in the form of twin deficits of trust and a lack of participation in both past and present economic integration and trade initiatives which have changed Asia’s regional trade architecture since 2017,” said Marc Mealy, Senior Vice President of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “However, given that many Southeast Asian nations are predicted to have V-shaped economic recoveries, the ASEAN region will continue to offer significant commercial opportunities for American exporters in 2021.”

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For over 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.