Text: H.R.6828 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/13/2018)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 6828 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 6828

   To require a strategy for engagement with Southeast Asia and the 
            Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 13, 2018

   Mrs. Wagner (for herself and Mr. Castro of Texas) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To require a strategy for engagement with Southeast Asia and the 
            Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Southeast Asia Strategy Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Southeast Asia is the fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific 
        region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), 
        a regional intergovernmental organization, remains the 
        centerpiece of the Indo-Pacific region's architecture.
            (2) The United States has reaffirmed that the security and 
        sovereignty of its Southeast Asian allies and partners, 
        including a strong, independent ASEAN, remain vital to the 
        security, prosperity, and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.
            (3) The United States has committed to reinvigorating its 
        longstanding security alliances with the Philippines and 
        Thailand, as well as bolstering partnerships with a range of 
        Southeast Asian nations.
            (4) A central element of United States strategy for the 
        Indo-Pacific region is strengthening United States alliances 
        and partnerships and working with and through allies and 
        partners to address common challenges and to enhance shared 
        capabilities.
            (5) ASEAN member states are critical United States security 
        partners in preventing violent extremism, protecting the 
        freedom and openness of the maritime domain, engaging in global 
        peacekeeping operations, and preventing the trafficking of 
        weapons of mass destruction.
            (6) ASEAN member states are vital to the prosperity of the 
        United States economy and exports to ASEAN economies support 
        more than 500,000 jobs in the United States.
            (7) The United States and ASEAN have recently celebrated 
        the 40th anniversary of their ties and established a new 
        strategic partnership that will enhance cooperation across the 
        economic, political-security, and people-to-people pillars of 
        the relationship.

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States to--
            (1) cooperate more closely with the ASEAN and ASEAN member 
        states in the interest of promoting peace, security, and 
        stability in the Indo-Pacific region;
            (2) establish and communicate a comprehensive and focused 
        strategy that articulates the role and importance of Southeast 
        Asia to the United States, the value of the United States-ASEAN 
        relationship, the mutual interests of both parties, and the 
        concrete and material benefits all nations derive from strong 
        United States engagement and leadership in Southeast Asia; and
            (3) affirm the importance of ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-led 
        mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture of the Indo-
        Pacific region.

SEC. 4. STRATEGY FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH SOUTHEAST ASIA AND ASEAN.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the 
Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Defense, shall develop and 
submit to the appropriate congressional committees a comprehensive and 
focused multi-year strategy for engagement with Southeast Asia and 
ASEAN.
    (b) Matters To Be Included.--The strategy required by subsection 
(a) shall include the following:
            (1) An identification of enduring United States interests 
        in Southeast Asia and efforts to bolster the effectiveness of 
        ASEAN as an independent and unified regional leader.
            (2) An identification of--
                    (A) the future of Southeast Asian alliances, 
                partnerships, and multilateral engagements, including 
                efforts to expand security interoperability and 
                economic connectivity, and build networks of allies and 
                partners with other United States partners in the Indo-
                Pacific region; and
                    (B) partners outside ASEAN that support United 
                States interests in Southeast Asia, such as an ASEAN-
                centered and rules-based order, including multilateral 
                efforts to coordinate engagement with ASEAN.
            (3) A list of ongoing and planned initiatives and programs 
        to strengthen the United States partnership with Southeast 
        Asian countries and ASEAN through trade, investment, energy, 
        and economic and political diplomacy in Southeast Asia and 
        through development and capacity building, including efforts to 
        improve the environment for private sector-led economic 
        development, public-private partnerships, infrastructure 
        development, development of the digital economy and technology, 
        and other initiatives relating to education, disaster 
        management, and public health.
            (4) An assessment of ongoing and planned initiatives to 
        directly assist Southeast Asian countries and ASEAN in 
        developing institutional capabilities, including with respect 
        to enforcing international law and sanctions, and initiatives 
        to cooperate with ASEAN as an institution in these areas.
            (5) An assessment of ongoing and planned efforts to promote 
        and engage with Southeast Asian countries on human rights and 
        democracy, to strengthen the rule of law, civil society, and 
        transparent governance, and to protect the integrity of 
        elections and personal data from cyber threats.
            (6) An assessment of ongoing and planned security 
        cooperation, assistance, and training initiatives within 
        Southeast Asian countries, including--
                    (A) maritime security and political initiatives for 
                protecting the maritime commons and supporting 
                international law and freedom of navigation in the 
                South China Sea; and
                    (B) efforts to combat terrorism, human trafficking, 
                piracy, and illegal fishing, and promote more open, 
                reliable routes for trade.
            (7) An assessment of ongoing and planned funding for 
        relevant United States Government departments and agencies on 
        the implementation of initiatives highlighted in the strategy 
        and an identification of additional strategic, management, 
        procedural, legal, personnel, and funding resources needed to 
        fully implement the strategy.
    (c) Updates to Strategy.--The Secretary of State, in consultation 
with the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Defense, shall 
submit to the appropriate congressional committees an updated strategy 
under subsection (a) for each of the four years following the year in 
which the initial strategy is submitted under subsection (a).
    (d) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined.--In this section, 
the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
            (1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on 
        Armed Services of the House of Representatives; and
            (2) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on 
        Armed Services of the Senate.
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