Trump admin to challenge China in its own backyard

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press conference at the at the State Department in Washingt

Pompeo to unveil investment push in Indo-Pacific | TheHill

Without making specific reference to China, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the United States is seeking "partners, not domination" in the region.

"Our Indo-Pacific vision excludes no nation", Pompeo said in his address to the first Indo-Pacific Business Forum organised by the US Chambers of Commerce.

Australia has reached a deal with the USA and Japan to invest in projects in the Indo-Pacific region, and promote economic growth.

The US Chamber of Commerce estimates Asian economies are projected to create 50 percent of global GDP in the coming decades and to realise that potential "the countries of the Indo-Pacific will need to attract almost $US26 trillion in capital to fund their energy and infrastructure needs".

"The US is committed to growing our presence in the region because we want Americans and all people of the Indo-Pacific to share in the economic growth of 2020, 2030, 2040, and beyond", he said.

He asserted that it is clear a big part of America's global economic future is in the Indo-Pacific. "When American businesses come to these countries, they'll thrive", Pompeo said. "It is a made in China, made for China initiative".

"Access Asia" is a series of 25 trade promotion outreach events in cities across the U.S. that is sequential, multi-year, data and opportunity driven, and optimises USA government resources, it said. "It's largely going to be how we leverage private investment into the region to build the infrastructure and the connectivity, whether it's the energy infrastructure or the transport infrastructure, or the digital infrastructure where India is such a leader for the region", Biswal said.

He said it was first announced a year ago and the Secretary's core message is that free and open Indo-Pacific ties are good for the region, for America and business.

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"It will be a conference and trade mission to India and other surrounding countries where USA exporters will meet with decisionmakers on opportunities they have learned about at DGM (Discover Global Markets) and Access Asia events", the Commerce Department said. We want the peaceful resolution of territorial and maritime disputes. "It's high-quality, it's transparent and it is financially sustainable", Hook said.

Pompeo said the United States will initially invest a Dollars 25 million to improve partner countries' digital connectivity and expand opportunities for USA technology exports.

The US Department of State is skilled at executing this kind of diplomatic strategy: Convening across regions, persuading other countries of the validity of an approach, and developing partnerships across the public and private sectors.

"In all these areas - digital economy, energy, and infrastructure - we look forward to working with allies and partners", Pompeo added.

The Australian government has raised fears in recent months that some small Pacific nations might get trapped with unsustainable debts, handing Beijing influence.

"This is meant to be an articulation of a robust policy and engagement from the USA, from the government and from the business community and desire to do so in a way that is collaborative and consultative with our partners and counterparts across the region", she said.

Background: Pompeo's announcement is meant to kick of his trip to the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum by signaling that smaller countries drawn to China's economic outreach can rely on the United States.

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