How the Administration and Congress Can Work Together to Sustain American Engagement in Asia to 2016
Opinion surveys demonstrate that a majority of Americans consider Asia the most important region to U.S. interests, and a majority of Asia experts support the Obama administration’s goal of a “pivot” or “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region. Yet doubts have also grown about whether the pivot can be sustained by a president politically weakened by the 2014 midterm results, constrained by budget sequestration, and pulled into crises from Ukraine to Iraq and Iran. On issues from immigration to Cuba policy, the Obama administration and the incoming Republican Congress appear set for confrontation. Yet Asia policy remains largely bipartisan—perhaps the most bipartisan foreign policy issue in Washington. It is therefore critical—and practical—to ask that the White House and the Republican leadership in the Congress chart a common course on policy toward Asia for the next two years. This report outlines concrete areas for action on trade, China, defense, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia.