WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai virtually co-chaired the annual ASEAN Economic Ministers – U.S. Trade Representative Consultations yesterday with Dr. Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Brunei Darussalam. Ambassador Tai underscored the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to strengthening the U.S.-ASEAN economic and trade relationship, which is underpinned by the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA). Ambassador Tai was joined virtually by U.S. Mission to ASEAN Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Melissa Brown, the U.S. Agency for International Development Regional Development Mission for Asia Director Steve Olive, and representatives from the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.
Ambassador Tai reiterated the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed with ASEAN Ministers ongoing efforts and cooperation to address the economic impact of the pandemic. Ambassador Tai also welcomed U.S. engagements with ASEAN in the areas of labor, environment, and SMEs under the auspices of the TIFA to advance inclusive and equitable economic growth.
Ambassador Tai also expressed deep concern regarding the military coup in Burma and urged ASEAN’s Special Envoy to visit Burma as soon as possible to promote dialogue between all parties.