The profile of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) profile has risen dramatically over the past decade, including in the Washington, D.C. foreign policy community. Once derided as a talk shop, U.S. policymakers have now generally accepted the importance of keeping ASEAN at the center of regional affairs, and senior administration officials spend vast amounts of time at ASEAN meetings. While it is unlikely President-elect Donald Trump will follow in President Barack Obama’s footsteps with as much presidential-level engagement with ASEAN, robust cabinet and sub-cabinet level interaction has been institutionalized and will continue under the Trump administration.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Diplomat.
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