Representative Bera Chairs House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing on Strengthening Ties with Southeast Asia | Congressman Ami Bera

Representative Bera Chairs House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing on Strengthening Ties with Southeast Asia

Sep 28, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, today chaired a subcommittee hearing on strengthening U.S. ties with Southeast Asia.

“The economic promise and strategic importance of Southeast Asia are hard to overstate. The region’s economic vibrancy, strategic location at the center of the world’s maritime commerce, and demographic diversity and vitality all make Southeast Asia a place of critical importance for the United States,” said Representative Bera. “As we hear from many of our allies and partners in Southeast Asia, what makes this region tick is the global commerce that courses through it, but many in Southeast Asia face challenges in maintaining economic independence. As close friends and partners, we must continue to support Southeast Asian nations in developing diverse sources of investment and export markets, so they can stand up to economic coercion.

And as a region dominated by the world’s largest ocean, ensuring water ways remain free and open is a critical matter. Some countries seek to undermine maritime sovereignty through bullying and intimidation, and by using gray zone tactics that intentionally blur the line between military and commercial naval activity. We must continue to reinforce international laws and norms, which are the best and safest ways to resolve these disputes.”

Rep. Bera continued: “Beyond shared challenges, there are also opportunities for broader cooperation and partnerships between the United States and Southeast Asian countries to address some of the most pressing threats today, including combatting climate change, promoting global health security, and increasing supply chain resilience. As Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, I look forward to working with the Biden Administration and my colleagues in Congress in deepening partnerships with our friends in the region to promote a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

Expert witnesses included The Honorable David B. Shear, Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Ms. Meredith Miller, Former Deputy Director, Office of Economic Policy, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Mr. Michael Sobolik, Fellow in Indo-Pacific Studies, American Foreign Policy Council.

Click here to watch a recording of the hearing.