The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a multilateral organization based in Southeast Asia consisting of: Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The organization was established in 1967 and the United States established dialogue relations with the organization in 1977.
H.Res. 311 supports the elevation of the U.S.- ASEAN relationship to a strategic partnership; encourages the enhancement of U.S.- ASEAN economic engagement through the elimination of trade barriers; supports ASEAN cooperation to combat terrorism and violent extremism; supports efforts to constructively address regional maritime and territorial disputes; urges parties to exercise self-restraint and to refrain from militarizing uninhabited islands; and reaffirms the U.S. commitment to join with ASEAN to combat human smuggling and trafficking in persons.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 3, 2017.
Welcomes the leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to the United States for the meetings with the Secretary of State and members of Congress and affirms the meeting as the first of regular U.S.-ASEAN meetings.
Supports: (1) the elevation of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship to a strategic partnership; and (2) efforts by U.S. partners and allies in ASEAN to enhance maritime capability and maritime domain awareness, protect unhindered access to and use of international waterways in the Asia-Pacific region, counter piracy, disrupt illicit maritime trafficking activities, and enhance the maritime capabilities of countries or regional organizations to respond to emerging threats to maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region.
Recommits the United States to ASEAN centrality and to helping to build a politically cohesive, economically integrated, and socially responsible ASEAN community.
Reaffirms: (1) the enhancement of U.S.-ASEAN economic engagement, and (2) the U.S. commitment to continue joint efforts with ASEAN to halt human smuggling and trafficking in persons.
Encourages the President to communicate to ASEAN leaders the importance of protecting human rights, strengthening civil society, safeguarding freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, and the free flow of information and ideas, and promoting open and transparent government.