Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
December 16, 2013


“As a Pacific nation that takes our Pacific partnership seriously, the United States will continue to build on our active and enduring presence.” – Secretary of State John Kerry

Recognizing that America’s future prosperity and security are intertwined with the East Asia-Pacific region, President Barack Obama made a strategic commitment to rebalance our efforts and investments toward Asia. The United States will remain a strong, reliable, and active partner in the region and is investing diplomatic, public diplomacy, military, and assistance resources in a way that is commensurate with our comprehensive engagement. We continue to emphasize economic development, energy cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, youth, and education in our programs.

U.S. Objectives

  • Modernize and strengthen U.S. alliances;
  • Develop and strengthen ties with emerging partners;
  • Support effective regional institutions that strive to solve problems based on internationally-recognized rules and norms;
  • Increase trade and investment and expand broad-based economic growth;
  • Ensure our military presence in the region effectively supports the full range of our engagement;
  • Promote democratic development, good governance, and human rights;
  • Expand people-to-people ties.

Benefits for the United States

Through the rebalance, we are positioning the United States to better promote its interests as the center of global politics, economics, and population growth continues to shift to the East Asia-Pacific. By increasing our engagement in the region, the United States is:

  • Supporting efforts that create and sustain American jobs (in 2012, $555 billion in U.S. exports of goods and services to the region are estimated to have supported as many as 2.8 million U.S. jobs);
  • Making America safer and more secure;
  • Helping expand the ranks of democratic and prosperous states.

Benefits for the East Asia-Pacific Region

U.S. engagement in the East Asia-Pacific continues to support peace and prosperity. Economically, the United States is by far the leading investor in the region. America’s trade with the region is expanding, and we are engaged on economic and commercial issues across the board. In 2012, U.S. foreign direct investment in the East Asia-Pacific stood at $622 billion, reflecting a 35 per cent increase since the beginning of the Obama Administration. These investments from our dynamic private sector support jobs and economic growth in the region and at home, and signify our long-term stake in the economic growth and development of the East Asia-Pacific.

U.S. assistance is focused on:

  • Supporting economic integration and trade;
  • Enhancing regional security;
  • Advancing inclusive economic development;
  • Strengthening regional institutions so they can effectively address problems;
  • Addressing health and environmental problems that affect the region and the globe.

We have deep and sustained ties with our allies and strong emerging partnerships in East Asia and the Pacific. Our military presence and strategic alliances in the region have deterred conflict and provided security for 60 years. We will continue to support economic growth and political development.

East Asia-Pacific Region Accounts For:

  • Nearly a third of the Earth’s population and a huge proportion of biodiversity vulnerable to climate change;
  • Over one-quarter of global GDP;
  • A major and increasing share of global growth;
  • Twenty-six per cent of U.S. exports, including over 40 per cent of U.S. agricultural exports – in all, some $1.2 trillion in two-way trade with the United States.