Pompeo to announce US economic initiatives in "Indo-Pacific"

Pompeo to unveil investment push in Indo-Pacific | TheHill

Pompeo reviewed a number of major US projects in the Indo-Pacific and pointed out that the United States is "the single largest source of cumulative investment" in the region, "larger than China, Japan, and the European Union".

An Australian minister said on Tuesday a new infrastructure partnership with the United States and Japan does not challenge growing Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific region.

Hook said that the secretary's announcements would be an economic pillar for America's Indo-Pacific strategy.

The new USA initiatives and funding would be focused on digital economy, energy and infrastructure, Hook said, without giving any figures on investment amounts.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press conference at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2018.

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"Our core message... is that a free and open Indo-Pacific is good for the region, it is good for America and it is good for business", he told journalists.

Last year, President Trump said in Vietnam, the Indo-Pacific is "a attractive constellation of nations, each its own bright star, satellites to none - and each one a people, a culture, a way of life, a home".

"The US has a strong interest in also supporting all of the trading connectivity and being part of it", she said adding that American business, technology and capital has an important role to play.

"And only if countries make themselves welcoming to private investment will those trillions of dollars get off the sidelines, into their economies, and into productive enterprises that bring jobs and prosperity to their peoples", he said. We're looking for partnerships.

CHINA'S WAY, US WAY Speaking to reporters ahead of the speech, Brian Hook, senior policy adviser to Pompeo, said the United States was not competing with China's mostly state-led infrastructure initiatives.

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"We work very closely with India ... and so the USA and India are working bilaterally, and we also do that in cooperation with other like-minded partners, especially Japan and Australia, Korea, to advance our shared vision of the Indo-Pacific", Hook added. We want it to be free, we want it to be open.

Pompeo stressed at the event that, while the administration withdrew for the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the USA is working "to craft better, higher-standard bilateral trade agreements".

Government spending by itself "can never address the Indo-Pacific's needs", he added. That is why the Indo-Pacific must be free and open. He also reaffirmed the administration's support for the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, which would more than double the United States government's development-finance capacity, to $60 billion, to support USA private investment in strategic opportunities overseas.

The measures include a US$25 million initial investment to improve digital connectivity in partner countries and to expand opportunities for U.S. technology exports.

And what is Pompeo's plan to engage regional institutions such as the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), or the Indian Ocean Rim Association?

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