Posted by on May 12, 2022 6:11 pm
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Biden proposes $150 million in Southeast Asia spending ahead of leader summit

President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik/AP

Biden proposes $150 million in Southeast Asia spending ahead of leader summit

Naomi Lim May 12, 06:07 PMMay 12, 06:07 PM Video Embed

President Joe Biden is proposing more than $150 million in spending as he attempts to demonstrate his commitment to Southeast Asia.

Biden announced the proposal as leaders from eight of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — meet in Washington, D.C., for the first U.S.-ASEAN summit in the capital. Burma declined to send a nonpolitical representative, necessitated by the military regime’s failure to implement ASEAN’s five-point consensus, and the Philippines is not in attendance either.

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Biden proposed that $800 million be spent on bilateral ASEAN assistance and more than $25 million to “deepen relations,” in addition to enhancing the group’s capacity to tackle regional challenges, in his fiscal year 2023 budget. During his first U.S.-ASEAN summit last year, he floated that $102 million be focused on health, climate, science and innovation, trade facilitation, and education cooperation, among other areas of potential collaboration.

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On top of a White House dinner Thursday, the two-day agenda includes meetings with Cabinet members, lawmakers, and business executives, such as Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, according to senior administration officials. Discussions are expected to range from the COVID-19 pandemic to technology, climate, and energy.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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