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 Sep 27, 2017.
Supports: (1) the elevation of the U.S.-Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) relationship to a strategic partnership; (2) cooperation with ASEAN to implement practical counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism measures; and (3) efforts by ASEAN member states and other regional states to address maritime and territorial disputes in a constructive manner and to pursue claims through diplomacy and the use of legitimate regional and international arbitration mechanisms.
Recognizes the value of ASEAN working with economic, political, and security partners to strengthen existing initiatives and develop new initiatives that address mutual strategic concerns.
Encourages enhancement of economic engagement between the United States and ASEAN through the elimination of trade barriers.
Urges all parties to maritime and territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific region to: (1) exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would undermine stability or escalate disputes through the use of coercion, intimidation, or military force; and (2) refrain from efforts to militarize uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, and other features.
Reaffirms the U.S. commitment to: (1) promoting a rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific and economic growth, peace, human rights and stability in Southeast Asia; and (2) continuing joint efforts with ASEAN to halt human trafficking.