President Donald J. Trump and US-Asia Pacific Relations

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Coordinator: Sarah Wang. For methodology, click here.

This resource will track statements, developments, visits and other interactions in US-Asia Pacific relations given or undertaken by President Donald J. Trump.

To view quotations, debriefs of interactions with Asia Pacific leaders, and media sorted by topic, scroll down or use the links below. To view those made by President Trump in 2017, visit this page for a historical list

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries Asia Pacific Leaders Asia Pacific Allies & Partners
China/Taiwan Human Rights & Democracy North Korea
South China Sea Southeast Asia/ASEAN Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN
Trade & Investment    

To view the positions of President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of Defense Mattis, Secretary of Commerce Ross, and Secretary of State Tillerson on various issues in US-Asia Pacific relations, click here.

To view quotations, interviews, and policy documents given by and interactions with Asia Pacific leaders undertaken by Vice President Pence, Secretary of Defense Mattis, Secretary of Commerce Ross, and Secretary of State Tillerson use the links below.

Vice President Mike Pence Secretary of Defense James Mattis Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson    

To examine Asian reactions to ongoing developments in US-Asia relations and the US 2016 Presidential election, click here.

To explore previous quotations, views on Asia Pacific issues, and other connections to Asia from President Trump, Vice President  Pence, and other candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election, click here. 

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries 

 

For a historical list of countries traveled to in 2017, click here.

Asia Pacific Leaders

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [January 15] with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior.  President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow.  President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China. January 16, 2017
  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 10, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea.  President Moon briefed President Trump on the outcomes of the discussions between North and South Korea on January 9 and thanked President Trump for his influential leadership in making the talks possible.  The two leaders underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea.  President Trump expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances.  President Trump told President Moon that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea [South Korea]. January 10, 2017
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 4, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  The two leaders agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea and to not repeat mistakes of the past.  The United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.  President Trump told President Moon that the United States will send a high-level delegation to the Olympics.  The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. January 4, 2018

For a historical list of meetings with Asia Pacific leaders in 2017, click here.

Asia Pacific Allies & Partners

  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "But I’ll tell you, you know, when you talk about driving a wedge, we also have a thing called trade. And South Korea—brilliantly makes—we have a trade deficit with South Korea of $31 billion a year. That’s a pretty strong bargaining chip to me." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • [Responding to a question regarding if it would send a message of backing down to North Korea to delay the military exercises normally scheduled during this time with South Korea] "No, I think it’s inappropriate to have the Olympics, have millions of people going to the Olympics hopefully, have North Korea going to the Olympics, and we’re having exercises on the beach. No, I think that it doesn’t—I think it sends a good message to North Korea, not a bad message. I think it would be totally inappropriate to do that during the Olympics." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Yesterday it was announced that Toyota is coming in with a very big plant in Alabama. It’s going to cost—they’re going to spend billions of dollars, four thousand jobs, create 300,000 cars a year within the country, which is what I want. Prime Minister Abe told me about it, I pressed him very hard. I said, ‘We got to get your companies building here. We don’t want a building in Japan; we want to build them here. We have a lot of plants opening, car plants opening; we have a lot of things happening that would’ve never happened under the Democrats." [Source] Transcript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 10, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea.  President Moon briefed President Trump on the outcomes of the discussions between North and South Korea on January 9 and thanked President Trump for his influential leadership in making the talks possible.  The two leaders underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea.  President Trump expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances.  President Trump told President Moon that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea [South Korea]. January 10, 2017
  • "Well, I hope they [North Korea and South Korea] do.  I hope they do.  I would love to see them take it [negotiations] beyond the Olympics.  We have a very good relationship with South Korea.  I would love to see it go far beyond the Olympics, absolutely. And at the appropriate time, we’ll get involved.  But I like the idea of their dealing on the Olympics.  That should be between those two countries." [Source] Remarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "Well, I think so. I spoke with the President, as you know — with President Moon of South Korea.  He thanked me very much for my tough stance.  And you know, for 25 years, they haven’t been using a tough stance.  They’ve been giving everything. When you look at what Bill Clinton did — and you’ve seen the famous clip where Bill Clinton wants to give them everything, and where I said, years ago, with Russert on Meet the Press — many years ago, I talked to — I don’t think anything has changed.  You have to have a certain attitude and you have to be prepared to do certain things.  And I’m totally prepared to do that. But President Moon called me, and we had a great discussion a couple of days ago, and he thanked me very much.  And I hope it works out.  I very much want to see it work out between the two countries.  I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there.  So I’m behind that 100 percent. He actually thanked me.  He said — and a lot of people have said, a lot of people have written — that without my rhetoric and without my tough stance — and it’s not just a stance — I mean, this is — this is what has to be done, if it has to be done — that they wouldn’t be talking about Olympics, that they wouldn’t be talking right now." [SourceRemarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 4, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  The two leaders agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea and to not repeat mistakes of the past.  The United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.  President Trump told President Moon that the United States will send a high-level delegation to the Olympics.  The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. January 4, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

China/Taiwan

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [January 15] with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior.  President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow.  President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China. January 16, 2017
  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Not helpful enough, but they’ve [China] been very helpful. Let’s put it this way, they’ve done more for me than they ever have for any American president. They still haven’t done enough. But they’ve done more for me than they have, by far, for any—I have a very good relationship with President Xi. I like him. He likes me. We have a great chemistry together. He’s—China has done far more for us than they ever have for any American president. With that being said, it’s not enough. They have to do more. For instance, at the very beginning, you know Obama felt—President Obama felt it was his biggest problem is North Korea. He said that openly. He said that to me, but he said that openly. It is a big problem, and they should not have left me with that problem. That should have been a problem that was solved by Obama, or Bush, or Clinton or anybody, because the longer it went, the worse, the more difficult the problem got. This should not have been a problem left on my desk, but it is, and I get things solved. And one way or the other, that problem is going to be solved. China has been helping us, and I appreciate the help, but they can do much more." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "As an example, we’ve been much tougher on China, but not nearly as tough as I would be, but they are helping us a lot with North Korea. And you see in North Korea what’s happening with North Korea all of a sudden. China’s been helping us a lot, so you can veer a little bit differently, but for the most part everything I’ve said I’ve done." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  •  "We’re pleased to be joined by many of the members of Congress as we take an important step to halt the flood of deadly drugs that are pouring into our country like never before.  It took place two, three, four years ago.  It’s at a level that people haven’t seen over the last few years. In a few moments, I’ll sign the INTERDICT Act.  This law directs the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional tools and resources to detect and intercept the supply of illicit fentanyl, which is our new big scourge.  It’s disgraceful what’s happening — coming from different countries including, frankly, China and others. And it’s pouring in at record numbers.  In 2016, nearly 20,000 Americans died as a result of using synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.  Each death is a tragedy, leaving behind devastated parents, spouses, and orphans all over our country." [Source] Remarks by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and Bipartisan Members of Congress at Signing of H.R. 2142, INTERDICT Act. January 10, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Human Rights & Democracy

 

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

North Korea

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [January 15] with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior.  President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow.  President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China. January 16, 2017
  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • [Responding to a question regarding if it would send a message of backing down to North Korea to delay the military exercises normally scheduled during this time with South Korea] "No, I think it’s inappropriate to have the Olympics, have millions of people going to the Olympics hopefully, have North Korea going to the Olympics, and we’re having exercises on the beach. No, I think that it doesn’t—I think it sends a good message to North Korea, not a bad message. I think it would be totally inappropriate to do that during the Olympics." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Not helpful enough, but they’ve [China] been very helpful. Let’s put it this way, they’ve done more for me than they ever have for any American president. They still haven’t done enough. But they’ve done more for me than they have, by far, for any—I have a very good relationship with President Xi. I like him. He likes me. We have a great chemistry together. He’s—China has done far more for us than they ever have for any American president. With that being said, it’s not enough. They have to do more. For instance, at the very beginning, you know Obama felt—President Obama felt it was his biggest problem is North Korea. He said that openly. He said that to me, but he said that openly. It is a big problem, and they should not have left me with that problem. That should have been a problem that was solved by Obama, or Bush, or Clinton or anybody, because the longer it went, the worse, the more difficult the problem got. This should not have been a problem left on my desk, but it is, and I get things solved. And one way or the other, that problem is going to be solved. China has been helping us, and I appreciate the help, but they can do much more." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "As an example, we’ve been much tougher on China, but not nearly as tough as I would be, but they are helping us a lot with North Korea. And you see in North Korea what’s happening with North Korea all of a sudden. China’s been helping us a lot, so you can veer a little bit differently, but for the most part everything I’ve said I’ve done." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • [When asked if he would be willing to engage in phone talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] "Sure.  I always believe in talking. [...] But we have a very firm stance.  Look, our stance — you know what it is.  We’re very firm.  But I would be — absolutely I would do that.  No problem with that at all. [...] Look, right now, they’re talking Olympics.  It’s a start.  It’s a big start.  If I weren’t involved, they wouldn’t be talking about Olympics right now.  They’d be doing no talking or it would be much more serious. He knows I’m not messing around.  I’m not messing around — not even a little bit, not even 1 percent.  He understands that.  At the same time, if we can come up with a very peaceful and very good solution — we’re working on it with Rex and we’re working on it with a lot of people — if something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity.  That would be a great thing for the world.  Very important, okay?" [Source] Remarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "Well, I hope they [North Korea and South Korea] do.  I hope they do.  I would love to see them take it [negotiations] beyond the Olympics.  We have a very good relationship with South Korea.  I would love to see it go far beyond the Olympics, absolutely. And at the appropriate time, we’ll get involved.  But I like the idea of their dealing on the Olympics.  That should be between those two countries." [SourceRemarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "Well, I think so. I spoke with the President, as you know — with President Moon of South Korea.  He thanked me very much for my tough stance.  And you know, for 25 years, they haven’t been using a tough stance.  They’ve been giving everything. When you look at what Bill Clinton did — and you’ve seen the famous clip where Bill Clinton wants to give them everything, and where I said, years ago, with Russert on Meet the Press — many years ago, I talked to — I don’t think anything has changed.  You have to have a certain attitude and you have to be prepared to do certain things.  And I’m totally prepared to do that. But President Moon called me, and we had a great discussion a couple of days ago, and he thanked me very much.  And I hope it works out.  I very much want to see it work out between the two countries.  I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there.  So I’m behind that 100 percent. He actually thanked me.  He said — and a lot of people have said, a lot of people have written — that without my rhetoric and without my tough stance — and it’s not just a stance — I mean, this is — this is what has to be done, if it has to be done — that they wouldn’t be talking about Olympics, that they wouldn’t be talking right now." [SourceRemarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

South China Sea

 

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Southeast Asia/ASEAN

 

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN

 

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Trade & Investment

  • "But I’ll tell you, you know, when you talk about driving a wedge, we also have a thing called trade. And South Korea—brilliantly makes—we have a trade deficit with South Korea of $31 billion a year. That’s a pretty strong bargaining chip to me." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Yesterday it was announced that Toyota is coming in with a very big plant in Alabama. It’s going to cost—they’re going to spend billions of dollars, four thousand jobs, create 300,000 cars a year within the country, which is what I want. Prime Minister Abe told me about it, I pressed him very hard. I said, ‘We got to get your companies building here. We don’t want a building in Japan; we want to build them here. We have a lot of plants opening, car plants opening; we have a lot of things happening that would’ve never happened under the Democrats." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

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Methodology: Policy materials and quotations from President Donald J. Trump are limited to after November 9, 2016 when he was formally elected as the 45th President of the United States. Should any quotations before the period be deemed relevant they will be indicated by an asterisk (*) after the date. In all cases, these additional quotations were made within the year prior to the start of the Trump Administration. Flag icons that indicate which countries members of the Trump administration have traveled to are provided by Freepik, accessed through www.flaticon.com.

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