Reinvigorating U.S. Economic Strategy in the Asia Pacific

Recommendations for the Incoming Administration

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The Asia Pacific is home to over half of humanity and many of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies. Over the coming decades, no region of the world will do more to shape U.S. economic fortunes. More than ever before, American jobs and growth are tied to the Asia Pacific, and these opportunities are likely to grow.

But the region is undergoing profound change. Today, mutually beneficial relations with the Asia Pacific are challenged by slowing growth, a rise in security tensions, and threats to the U.S.-led order. The rise of China is altering the Asia-Pacific landscape in profound ways and playing a critical role in the region’s prosperity and perceived stability. These economic and security shifts offer opportunities for the United States to strengthen cooperation with emerging economies and reinforce partnerships with established allies. But new policies are needed in what has become a more volatile environment. These policies must be grounded in the enduring interests of the United States and informed by the realities of a changing Asia Pacific. And just as economics is at the heart of Asia’s rise, so must economics be at the heart of an effective strategy.

CSIS convened the Asia Economic Strategy Commission to help inform such a reinvigorated strategy. In this report, the Commission calls on the incoming administration to outline, both for the American people and Asia, a vision for a prosperous and inclusive trans-Pacific economic order. With confident leadership and energetic execution, such a strategy can help to uphold enduring U.S. interests, advance the peace and prosperity of the Asia Pacific, and build a firm foundation for America’s Pacific century.

Photo credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Scott Miller
Senior Mentor (Non-resident), Executive Education

Charlene Barshefsky

Cochair, CSIS Asia Economic Strategy Commission

Evan G. Greenberg

Cochair, CSIS Asia Economic Strategy Commission

Jon M. Huntsman Jr.

Cochair, CSIS Asia Economic Strategy Commission

Amy Searight