President Donald J. Trump and US-Asia Pacific Relations

Share this:

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.

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 

Has not yet traveled to the Asia Pacific region.

Asia Pacific Leaders

  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Sinaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They discussed the US-Singapore economic relationship and North Korea's latest missile test. 
  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They discussed opportunities for cooperation following North Korea's latest missile test. 
  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They dicussed the importance of strenghtening the US-Indonesia strategic partnership and North Korea's latest missile test. 
  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. On July 6, President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, together with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, condemned North Korea's latest missile test and committed to working together to counter the increasing threat. 
  • On May 31, 2017, President Trump met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at the White House to continue to promote an enhanced Comprehensive Partnership between the United States and Vietnam. 
  • On May 26, 2017, President Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Abe before the start of the G7 Summit in Italy to discuss continued cooperation between the United States and Japan concerning the threat posed by North Korea. 
  • On May 10, 2017, President Trump called South Korean President Moon Jae-in to congratulate him on his election win and to stress the importance of a maintaining a strong bilateral alliance. 
  • On May 4, 2017, President Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House. Together they marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea and discussed the importance of the US-Australia relationsship. 
  • On April 30, 2017, President Trump spoke with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the phone to affirm the close partnership between the United States and Singapore.
  • On April 30, 2017, President Trump spoke with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on the phone to emphasize the vital importance of the United States' long-standing alliance with Thailand. 
  • On April 29, 2017, President Trump spoke with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on the phone to discuss the challenges facing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the domestic campaign against drugs in the Philippines. President Trump invited President Duterte to the White House and expressed his desire to attend the East Asia Summit and US-ASEAN Summit in the Philippines in November. 
  • On April 24, 2017, President Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the phone to reaffirm both sides' commitment to working together to achieve denuclearization in North Korea. 
  • On April 24, 2017, President Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone to address issues of mutual concern
  • On April 9, 2017, President Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone on recent developments in Syria and to thank Japan for its support of the recent US strikes
  • On April 8, 2017, President Trump spoke with Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-Ahn on recent developments in Syria and to thank South Korea for its support of the recent US strikes. 
  • From April 6-7, 2017, President Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss US-China relations, including areas of cooperation and issues of mutual concern. 
  • On April 5, 2017, President Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone to discuss the necessity of maintaining a strong bilateral relationship to counter North Korean aggression. 
  • In late March 2017 President Trump wrote Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang a letter "affirming his wishes to promote cooperation on economics, trade, regional and international issues" with Vietnam. 
  • On March 28, 2017, President Trump spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the phone to discuss India's recent state-level elections and their upcoming meeting later in the year. 
  • On March 6, 2017, President Trump spoke with both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn in separate phone calls to address the launch of ballistic missiles by North Korea. President Trump agreed that close bilateral and trilateral ties were necessary to counter the North Korean threat. 
  • On February 10, 2017, President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House and his resort in Mar-a Lago, Florida. During their discussion they reaffirmed security commitments and agreed to continue strengthening US-Japan economic ties.
  • On February 9, 2017, President Trump had a short phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which he agreed to honor the "One China" policy. Following the phone call, President Trump tweeted the following:
  • On February 5, 2017, President Trump had a short phone call with New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English to discuss the US-New Zealand alliance. 
  • On January 29, 2017, President Trump had a short phone call with South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn to discuss US-South Korea relations. 
  • On January 28, 2017, President Trump had a short phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the US-Japan alliance and finalize their in-person meeting on February 10, 2017.  
  • phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss the US-Australia alliance.
  • On January 24, 2017, President Trump had a short phone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which they discussed opportunities for strengthening US-India relations in the years ahead. 

Asia Pacific Allies & Partners

  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Sinaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They discussed the US-Singapore economic relationship and North Korea's latest missile test. 
  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They dicussed the importance of strenghtening the US-Indonesia strategic partnership and North Korea's latest missile test. 
  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. On July 6, President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, together with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, condemned North Korea's latest missile test and committed to working together to counter the increasing threat. 
  • On July 2, 2017, President Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone to discuss further cooperation between the United States and Japan regarding the threat posed by North Korea. He also discussed this issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a separate phone call.
  • On June 30, 2017, President Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and National Economic Council (NEC) Director Gary Cohn to discuss the US-South Korea economic relationship
  • "China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants.  So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement.  India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.  Think of it:  India can double their coal production.  We’re supposed to get rid of ours.  Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants. In short, the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries." [Source] Statement on the Paris Climate Accord. June 1, 2017
  • On June 4, 2017, President Trump acknowledged the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Midway which marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II to commend the bravery of US servicemen and highlight the evolution of the US-Japan relationship from foes to allies. 
  • On May 31, 2017, President Trump met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at the White House to continue to promote an enhanced Comprehensive Partnership between the United States and Vietnam. 
  • On May 26, 2017, President Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Abe before the start of the G7 Summit in Italy to discuss continued cooperation between the United States and Japan concerning the threat posed by North Korea. 
  • "But in the case of South Korea we have a [trade] deal [known as the KORUS FTA] that was made by Hillary Clinton, it’s a horrible deal. And that is the five-year anniversary and it’s up for renegotiation and we’ve informed them that we’ll negotiate. And again, we want a fair deal. We don’t want a one-sided deal our way but we want fair deals. And if we can have fair deals our country is going to do very well." [Source] Interview with The Economist. May 11, 2017
  • On May 10, 2017, President called South Korean President Moon Jae-in to congratulate him on his election win and to stress the importance of a maintaining a strong bilateral alliance. 
  • On May 4, 2017, President Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House. Together they marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea and discussed the importance of the US-Australia relationship. 
  • " The Philippines is very important to me strategically and militarily. And I’ve had numerous conversations with the leader of the Philippines [President Rodrigo Duterte] and -- and he’s got a big problem. He’s got a massive drug problem. He’s been very, very tough on that drug problem, but he has a massive drug problem.  He is very popular in the Philippines. He has a very high approval rating in the Philippines. But he’s very popular in the Philippines. I -- yes, I -- I look forward to meeting him. If he comes to the White House, that’s fine. I look forward to meeting him. The Philippines are a very important -- I have many, many friends from the Philippines. They’re great people. The Philippines strategically is very important to us. I think we’ll have a great relationship with the Philippines. I think it’s strategically very important to do so." [Source] Interview with Bloomberg. May 1, 2017
  • It's [the Free Trade Agreement the United States has with South Korea, known as KORUS] unacceptable. It's a horrible deal made by Hillary. It's a horrible deal. And we're going to renegotiate that deal, or terminate it. [...] Very soon. I'm announcing it now.By the way, with South Korea, just so you know. They're ready for it. Mike Pence was representing me, he was just over there, he's told them. And we have the five-year anniversary coming up very shortly. And we thought that would be a good time to start ...It's a great deal for South Korea. It's a terrible deal for us." [Source] Interview with Reuters. April 27, 2017
  • "On the THAAD system, it's about a billion dollars. I said, 'Why are we paying? Why are we paying a billion dollars? We're protecting. Why are we paying a billion dollars?' So I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. Nobody's going to do that. Why are we paying a billion dollars? It's a billion dollar system. It's phenomenal. It's the most incredible equipment you've ever seen - shoots missiles right out of the sky. And it protects them and I want to protect them. We're going to protect them. But they should pay for that, and they understand that." [Source] Interview with Reuters. April 27, 2017
  • On April 24, 2017, President Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone to address issues of mutual concern
  • On April 9, 2017, President Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone on recent developments in Syria and to thank Japan for its support of the recent US strikes
  • On April 8, 2017, President Trump spoke with Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-Ahn on recent developments in Syria and to thank South Korea for its support of the recent US strikes. 
  • From April 6-7, 2017, President Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss US-China relations, including areas of cooperation and issues of mutual concern. 
  • On April 5, 2017, President Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone to discuss the necessity of maintaining a strong bilateral relationship to counter North Korean aggression. 
  • In late March 2017 President Trump wrote Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang a letter "affirming his wishes to promote cooperation on economics, trade, regional and international issues" with Vietnam. 
  • On March 28, 2017, President Trump spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the phone to discuss India's recent state-level elections and their upcoming meeting later in the year. 
  • On March 6, 2017, President Trump spoke with both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn in separate phone calls to address the launch of ballistic missiles by North Korea. President Trump agreed that close bilateral and trilateral ties were necessary to counter the North Korean threat. 
  • [When asked about accelerating missile defense systems for Japan and South Korea] "There's talks of a lot more than that. We’ll see what happens. But it’s a very dangerous situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion. ... It’s one of many things that can be done. Missile defense is one of many things that can be done.” [Source] Interview with Reuters. February 24, 2017
  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House and his resort in Mar-a Lago, Florida. During their discussion they reaffirmed security commitments and agreed to continue strengthening US-Japan economic ties.
  • "If they're going to charge tax to our countries-if as an example, we sell a car into Japan and they do things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan...It's not fair." [Source] White House conference with business leaders. January 23, 2017

To view the short interview this tweet refers to, click here.

China/Taiwan

  • "For example, under the [Paris Climate] agreement, China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years -- 13.  They can do whatever they want for 13 years.  Not us.  India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries.  There are many other examples.  But the bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States." [Source] Statement on the Paris Climate Accord. June 1, 2017
  • "China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants.  So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement.  India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.  Think of it:  India can double their coal production.  We’re supposed to get rid of ours.  Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants. In short, the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries." [Source] Statement on the Paris Climate Accord. June 1, 2017
  • "Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree -- think of that; this much -- Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100.  Tiny, tiny amount.  In fact, 14 days of carbon emissions from China alone would wipe out the gains from America -- and this is an incredible statistic -- would totally wipe out the gains from America's expected reductions in the year 2030, after we have had to spend billions and billions of dollars, lost jobs, closed factories, and suffered much higher energy costs for our businesses and for our homes." [Source] Statement on the Paris Climate Accord. June 1, 2017
  • "Now, with that in mind, he’s [Chinese President Xi Jinping] representing China and he wants what’s best for China. But so far, you know, he’s been, he’s been very good. But, so they talk about why haven’t you called him a currency manipulator? Now think of this. I say, “Jinping. Please help us, let’s make a deal. Help us with North Korea, and by the way we’re announcing tomorrow that you’re a currency manipulator, OK?” They never say that, you know the fake media, they never put them together, they always say, he didn’t call him a currency [manipulator], number one. Number two, they’re actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped. [SourceInterview with The Economist. May 11, 2017
  •  "North Korea is maybe more important than trade. Trade is very important. But massive warfare with millions, potentially millions of people being killed? That, as we would say, trumps trade. [...]And if I can use trade as a method to get China, because I happen to think that China does have reasonably good powers over North Korea. Now, maybe not, you know, ultimate, but pretty good powers. Now, if China can help us with North Korea and can solve that problem--that's worth making not as good a trade deal for the United States, excuse me, right?"[SourceInterview with Face the Nation. April 30, 2017
  • "But when they talk about currency manipulation, and I did say I would call China, if they were, a currency manipulator, early in my tenure. And then I get there. Number one, they -- as soon as I got elected, they stopped. They're not -- it's not going down anymore, their currency. [...] . And I would say that I was the one that got them to stop. [...] I mean, there was no question. I mean, they were absolute currency manipulators before. But somebody said, "Oh, you didn't call him a currency manipulator." Now, you and I are just talking about how he's working -- I believe that President Xi is working to try and resolve a very big problem, for China also. And that's North Korea. Can you imagine if I say, "Hey, by the way, how are you doing with North Korea? Also, we're going to announce that you're a currency manipulator tomorrow." So the mainstream media never talks about that. They never say that. And that's, you know, unfortunate." [SourceInterview with Face the Nation. April 30, 2017
  • "You can never be sure of anything, can you? But I developed a very good relationship [with China]. I don't think they [China] want to see a destabilized North Korea. I don't think they want to see it. They certainly don't want to see nuclear on -- from their neighbor. They haven't liked it for a long time. But we'll have to see what happens. The relationship I have with China, it's been already acclaimed as being something very special, something very different than we've ever had. But again, you know, we'll find out whether or not President Xi is able to affect change." [SourceInterview with Face the Nation. April 30, 2017
  • "He [Chinese President Xi Jinping] certainly doesn't want to see turmoil and death [in North Korea]. He doesn't want to see it. He's a good man. He's a very good man and I got to know him very well ...We'll see how it all works out. I know he would like to be able to do something. Perhaps it's possible that he can't. But I think he'd like to be able to do something."[Source] Interview with Reuters. April 27, 2017
  • On April 24, 2017, President Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the phone to reaffirm both sides' commitment to working together to achieve denuclearization in North Korea. 
  • "He [Chinese President Xi Jinping] then went into the history of China and Korea. Not North Korea, Korea. And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years …and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China. And after listening for 10 minutes I realized that not — it’s not so easy. You know I felt pretty strongly that they have — that they had a tremendous power over China. I actually do think they do have an economic power, and they have certainly a border power to an extent, but they also — a lot of goods come in. But it’s not what you would think. It’s not what you would think." [SourceWSJ Trump Interview Excerpts: China, North Korea, Ex-Im Bank, Obamacare, Bannon, More. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2017
  • "We have tremendous trade deficits with everybody, but the big one is with China. It’s hundreds of billions of dollars of year for many many years. And I told them. I said you know, we’re not going to let that go ahead. Now, I did say — but you want to make a great deal? Solve the problem in North Korea. That’s worth having deficits. And that’s worth having not as good a trade deal as I would normally be able to make. OK, I’ll make great deals." [SourceWSJ Trump Interview Excerpts: China, North Korea, Ex-Im Bank, Obamacare, Bannon, More. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2017
  • "'They're [China] not currency manipulators.'" [SourceTrump Says Dollar 'Getting Too Strong,' Won't Label China a Currency Manipulator. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2017
  • From April 6-7, 2017, President Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss US-China relations, including areas of cooperation and issues of mutual concern. 
  • "Yes, we [President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping] will talk about North Korea. And China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone.[...] Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will." [Source] Interview with Financial Times. April 2, 2017
  • "I have great respect for him [Chinese President Xi Jinping]. I have great respect for China. I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so.[...] we cannot continue to trade if we are going to have an unfair deal like we have right now. This is an unfair deal." [Source] Interview with Financial Times. April 2, 2017
  • "[W]e’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001." [Source] Address to Joint Session of Congress. February 28, 2017
  • "Many things took place that should not have been allowed. One of them is the building of a massive, you know, massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea [by China]. And don't forget I've only been here for four weeks. This is something that took place and has been started three years ago and you were in a much better negotiating position three years ago. I am not happy about it." [Source] Interview with Reuters. February 24, 2017
  • " And 70,000 factories closed since China joined the WTO -- 70,000 factories.  So when I used to give that statistic, I used to talk about and I always thought it was a typo.  I said, it has to be a typo.  I tell Wilbur -- Wilbur, that can't be right -- 70,000.  Think of it, 70,000 factories.  So you say, what are we doing?  My administration's policies and regulatory reform, tax reform, trade policies will return significant manufacturing jobs to our country.  Everything is going to be based on bringing our jobs back, the good jobs, the real jobs.  They've left, and they're coming back.  They have to come back." [Source] Meeting with Manufacturing CEOs at the White House. February 23, 2017
  • "With China, we have close to a $500-billion trade deficit.  So we have to do something.  I spoke to the President, I spoke to many people.  We’re going to work on that very, very hard, and we’re going to do things that are the proper things to do." [Source] Meeting with Manufacturing CEOs at the White House. February 23, 2017
  • On February 9, 2017, President Trump had a short phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which he agreed to honor the "One China" policy. 
  • "If you want to take a plant or you want to do something, you want to sell something into China and other countries, it's very, very hard. In some cases, it's impossible. They won't even take your product." [Source] White House conference with business leaders. January 23, 2017
  • "We have hundreds of billions of dollars of losses on a yearly basis -- hundreds of billions with China on trade and trade imbalance, with Japan, with Mexico, with just about everybody." [Source] News Conference. January 11, 2017
  • "As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people. And I -- I can say that you know when -- when we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, they didn't make a big deal out of that. That was something that was extraordinary. That was probably China. [...] We have to work something out, but it's not just Russia. Take a look at what's happened. You don't report it the same way; 22 million accounts were hacked in this country by China. And that's because we have no defense. That's because we're run by people that don't know what they're doing." [Source] News Conference. January 11, 2017
  • "But Russia and other countries -- and other countries, including China, which has taken total advantage of us economically, totally advantage of us in the South China Sea by building their massive fortress, total." [Source] News Conference. January 11, 2017
  • On January 10, 2017 President-elect Trump met with China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma, who met with the President-elect to discuss adding a million US businesses to Alibaba's e-commerce platform. [Source] Kathy Chu. Wall Street Journal. January 10, 2017

To read about China's response to President-elect Trump's tweets and for further background on the issue, click here

  • "I fully understand the 'one China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'one China' policy, unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade. I mean, look, we are being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with taxing us heavy at the borders when we don't tax them, with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea which they shouldn't be doing, and, frankly, with not helping us at all with North Korea. You have North Korea, you have nuclear weapons and China could solve that problem and they are not helping us at all. So, I don't want China dictating to me. And this was a call [with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen that was] put in to me, I didn't make the call, and it was a call, very short call, saying 'Congratulations sir on the victory.' It was a very nice call. Short. And why should some other nation be able to say I can't take a call. I think it actually would've been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it." [Source] Interview with Fox News. December 11, 2016
  • “One of the most important relationships we must improve, and we have to improve, is our relationship with China. The nation of China is responsible for almost half of America’s trade deficit. China is not a market economy, they get a lot of help, and that’s why we designate them as being a non-market economy. Big thing. They haven’t played by the rules and I know it’s time that they are going to start. We’re all in this thing together folks, we gotta play by the rules folks. You have the massive theft of intellectual property, putting unfair taxes on our companies, not helping with the menace of North Korea like they should, and the at-will and massive devaluation of their currency and product dumping. Other than that they’ve been wonderful right?” [Source] 2016 Trump Thank You Tour Stop in Iowa. December 8, 2016

Human Rights & Democracy

North Korea

  • "As far as North Korea is concerned, I don't know, we will see what happens. I have some pretty severe things that we are thinking about. That doesn't mean we are going to do it. I don't draw red lines. [...] It's a shame they're behaving this way -- they're behaving in a very, very dangerous manner and something will have to be done about it." [Source] Remarks with Polish President Andrzej Duda. July 6, 2017 
  • "If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un], I would absolutely -- I would be honored to do it. If it’s under the -- again, under the right circumstances. But I would -- I would do that."  [Source] Interview with Bloomberg. May 1, 2017
  • "North Korea is maybe more important than trade. Trade is very important. But massive warfare with millions, potentially millions of people being killed? That, as we would say, trumps trade. [...]And if I can use trade as a method to get China, because I happen to think that China does have reasonably good powers over North Korea. Now, maybe not, you know, ultimate, but pretty good powers. Now, if China can help us with North Korea and can solve that problem--that's worth making not as good a trade deal for the United States, excuse me, right?"[SourceInterview with Face the Nation. April 30, 2017
  • "I have -- I really, you know, have no comment on him [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un]. People are saying, "Is he sane?" I have no idea. I can tell you this, and a lot of people don't like when I say it, but he was a young man of 26 or 27 when he took over from his father, when his father died. He's dealing with obviously very tough people, in particular the generals and others. And at a very young age, he was able to assume power. A lot of people, I'm sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie. But we have a situation that we just cannot let -- we cannot let what's been going on for a long period of years continue. And frankly, this should've been done and taken care of by the Obama administration. Should've been taken care of by the Bush administration. Should've been taken care of by Clinton."[SourceInterview with Face the Nation. April 30, 2017
  • "He's [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] 27 years old, his father dies, took over a regime, so say what you want but that's not easy, especially at that age. You know you have plenty of generals in there and plenty of other people that would like to do what he's doing. So I've said this before and I've, I'm just telling you, and I'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit. I'm just saying that's a very hard thing to do.As to whether or not he's rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he's rational." [Source] Interview with Reuters. April 27, 2017
  • "He [Chinese President Xi Jinping] certainly doesn't want to see turmoil and death [in North Korea]. He doesn't want to see it. He's a good man. He's a very good man and I got to know him very well ...We'll see how it all works out. I know he would like to be able to do something. Perhaps it's possible that he can't. But I think he'd like to be able to do something."[Source] Interview with Reuters. April 27, 2017
  • "There's a chance that we could end up having a major, major, conflict with North Korea, absolutely." [Source] Interview with Reuters. April 27, 2017
  • "He [Chinese President Xi Jinping] then went into the history of China and Korea. Not North Korea, Korea. And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years …and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China. And after listening for 10 minutes I realized that not — it’s not so easy. You know I felt pretty strongly that they have — that they had a tremendous power over China. I actually do think they do have an economic power, and they have certainly a border power to an extent, but they also — a lot of goods come in. But it’s not what you would think. It’s not what you would think." [SourceWSJ Trump Interview Excerpts: China, North Korea, Ex-Im Bank, Obamacare, Bannon, More. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2017
  • "We have tremendous trade deficits with everybody, but the big one is with China. It’s hundreds of billions of dollars of year for many many years. And I told them. I said you know, we’re not going to let that go ahead. Now, I did say — but you want to make a great deal? Solve the problem in North Korea. That’s worth having deficits. And that’s worth having not as good a trade deal as I would normally be able to make. OK, I’ll make great deals." [SourceWSJ Trump Interview Excerpts: China, North Korea, Ex-Im Bank, Obamacare, Bannon, More. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2017
  • "You cannot allow a country like that [North Korea]  to have nuclear power, nuclear weapons. That’s mass destruction. And he doesn’t have the delivery systems yet, but he — you know he will." [Source] WSJ Trump Interview Excerpts: China, North Korea, Ex-Im Bank, Obamacare, Bannon, More. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2017
  • "Yes, we [President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping] will talk about North Korea. And China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone.[...] Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will." [Source] Interview with Financial Times. April 2, 2017
  • [When asked if he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] “I guess ... I would never say no. It may be very late. It’s very late in the picture right now. ... We’re very angry at what he’s done, and frankly this should have been taken care of during the Obama administration.” [Source] February 24, 2017
  • [When asked about North Korea's missile program] “It’s very dangerous and something should have been done about it years ago. It’s very dangerous and very unacceptable. ... And very unfair to Japan.” [Source] February 24, 2017
  • On February 13, 2017, President Trump condemned North Korea's launch of a ballasitc missile over the weekend, stating that the United States will deal with North Korea "very strongly." [Source] Margaret Talev, Jennifer Jacobs, and Kanga Kong. Bloomberg. February 13, 2017

President-elect Trump's statement is in reference to remarks given by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in his New Year's speech which stated that North Korea is in the "last stage" of preparations for the test of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM).

  • "I fully understand the 'one China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'one China' policy, unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade. I mean, look, we are being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with taxing us heavy at the borders when we don't tax them, with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea which they shouldn't be doing, and, frankly, with not helping us at all with North Korea. You have North Korea, you have nuclear weapons and China could solve that problem and they are not helping us at all. So, I don't want China dictating to me." [SourceInterview with Fox News. December 11, 2016

South China Sea

  • "Many things took place that should not have been allowed. One of them is the building of a massive, you know, massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea [by China]. And don't forget I've only been here for four weeks. This is something that took place and has been started three years ago and you were in a much better negotiating position three years ago. I am not happy about it." [Source] Interview with Reuters. February 24, 2017
  • "But Russia and other countries -- and other countries, including China, which has taken total advantage of us economically, totally advantage of us in the South China Sea by building their massive fortress, total." [Source] News Conference. January 11, 2017

Southeast Asia/ASEAN

  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Sinaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They discussed the US-Singapore economic relationship and North Korea's latest missile test. 
  • On July 8, 2017, President Trump met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They dicussed the importance of strenghtening the US-Indonesia strategic partnership and North Korea's latest missile test. 
  • On May 31, 2017, President Trump met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at the White House to continue to promote an enhanced Comprehensive Partnership between the United States and Vietnam. 
  • "The Philippines is very important to me strategically and militarily. And I’ve had numerous conversations with the leader of the Philippines [President Rodrigo Duterte] and -- and he’s got a big problem. He’s got a massive drug problem. He’s been very, very tough on that drug problem, but he has a massive drug problem.  He is very popular in the Philippines. He has a very high approval rating in the Philippines. But he’s very popular in the Philippines. I -- yes, I -- I look forward to meeting him. If he comes to the White House, that’s fine. I look forward to meeting him. The Philippines are a very important -- I have many, many friends from the Philippines. They’re great people. The Philippines strategically is very important to us. I think we’ll have a great relationship with the Philippines. I think it’s strategically very important to do so." [SourceInterview with Bloomberg. May 1, 2017
  • On April 30, 2017, President Trump spoke with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the phone to affirm the close partnership between the United States and Singapore.
  • On April 30, 2017, President Trump spoke with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on the phone to emphasize the vital importance of the United States' long-standing alliance with Thailand. 
  • On April 29, 2017, President Trump spoke with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on the phone to discuss the challenges facing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the domestic campaign against drugs in the Philippines. President Trump invited President Duterte to the White House and expressed his desire to attend the East Asia Summit and US-ASEAN Summit in the Philippines in November. 
  • According to Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, during his congratulatory phone call with President-elect Trump, Mr. Trump stated that President Duterte was handling his controversial war on drugs in the Philippines "the right" way. President Duterte also stated that President-elect Trump extended an invitation to him to visit the United States next year. [Source] CNN. December 3, 2016

*As of this date the Trump administration's transition team has not commented on the validity of President Duterte's description of the phone call between himself and President-elect Trump.*

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

 

Trade & Investment

  • On June 30, 2017, President Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and National Economic Council (NEC) Director Gary Cohn to discuss the US-South Korea economic relationship
  • "But in the case of South Korea we have a [trade] deal [known as the KORUS FTA] that was made by Hillary Clinton, it’s a horrible deal. And that is the five-year anniversary and it’s up for renegotiation and we’ve informed them that we’ll negotiate. And again, we want a fair deal. We don’t want a one-sided deal our way but we want fair deals. And if we can have fair deals our country is going to do very well." [SourceInterview with The Economist. May 11, 2017
  • It's [the Free Trade Agreement the United States has with South Korea, known as KORUS] unacceptable. It's a horrible deal made by Hillary. It's a horrible deal. And we're going to renegotiate that deal, or terminate it. [...] Very soon. I'm announcing it now.By the way, with South Korea, just so you know. They're ready for it. Mike Pence was representing me, he was just over there, he's told them. And we have the five-year anniversary coming up very shortly. And we thought that would be a good time to start ...It's a great deal for South Korea. It's a terrible deal for us." [Source] Interview with Reuters. April 27, 2017
  • "'They're [China] not currency manipulators.'" [SourceTrump Says Dollar 'Getting Too Strong,' Won't Label China a Currency Manipulator. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2017
  • "And 70,000 factories closed since China joined the WTO -- 70,000 factories.  So when I used to give that statistic, I used to talk about and I always thought it was a typo.  I said, it has to be a typo.  I tell Wilbur -- Wilbur, that can't be right -- 70,000.  Think of it, 70,000 factories.  So you say, what are we doing?  My administration's policies and regulatory reform, tax reform, trade policies will return significant manufacturing jobs to our country.  Everything is going to be based on bringing our jobs back, the good jobs, the real jobs.  They've left, and they're coming back.  They have to come back." [Source] Meeting with Manufacturing CEOs at the White House. February 23, 2017
  • "With China, we have close to a $500-billion trade deficit.  So we have to do something.  I spoke to the President, I spoke to many people.  We’re going to work on that very, very hard, and we’re going to do things that are the proper things to do." [Source] Meeting with Manufacturing CEOs at the White House. February 23, 2017
  • On February 10, 2017, President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House and his resort in Mar-a Lago, Florida. During their discussion they reaffirmed security commitments and agreed to continue strengthening US-Japan economic ties.
  • "If they're going to charge tax to our countries-if as an example, we sell a car into Japan and they do things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan...It's not fair." [SourceWhite House conference with business leaders. January 23, 2017
  • "If you want to take a plant or you want to do something, you want to sell something into China and other countries, it's very, very hard. In some cases, it's impossible. They won't even take your product." [SourceWhite House conference with business leaders. January 23, 2017
  • "But Russia and other countries -- and other countries, including China, which has taken total advantage of us economically, totally advantage of us in the South China Sea by building their massive fortress, total." [SourceNews Conference. January 11, 2017
  • "We have hundreds of billions of dollars of losses on a yearly basis -- hundreds of billions with China on trade and trade imbalance, with Japan, with Mexico, with just about everybody." [SourceNews Conference. January 11, 2017
  • On January 10, 2017 President-elect Trump met with China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma, who met with the President-elect to discuss adding a million US businesses to Alibaba's e-commerce platform. [Source] Kathy Chu. Wall Street Journal. January 10, 2017
  • "One of the most important relationships we must improve, and we have to improve, is our relationship with China. The nation of China is responsible for almost half of America’s trade deficit. China is not a market economy, they get a lot of help, and that’s why we designate them as being a non-market economy. Big thing. They haven’t played by the rules and I know it’s time that they are going to start. We’re all in this thing together folks, we gotta play by the rules folks. You have the massive theft of intellectual property, putting unfair taxes on our companies, not helping with the menace of North Korea like they should, and the at-will and massive devaluation of their currency and product dumping. Other than that they’ve been wonderful right?” [Source2016 Trump Thank You Tour Stop in Iowa. December 8, 2016

To view the short interview this tweet refers to, click here.

######

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.

Back to top