September 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former US House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who guided the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement to passage in 2011, today issued the following statement regarding US economic and security policies in the Pacific region:

I support and applaud the tough stance President Trump has taken with respect to the rogue regime in North Korea.  In the Pacific region, as around the world, the president has projected a message of American strength and resolve.

“For our strategic endeavors to succeed, however, the United States must strengthen – not weaken – its already vital economic relationships in the Pacific, from South Korea and Japan to Australia and China.  We cannot isolate the regime in Pyongyang by isolating ourselves.  

“Withdrawing from the South Korea-US Trade Agreement [KORUS] would undermine America’s strategic objectives in the Pacific region and undercut our own workers and employers, who continue to depend on the free flow of goods and services between the US and the Republic of Korea.  Instead of pulling back from our current engagements and commitments, we must renew and strengthen our relationships in the Pacific region, not just with South Korea, but with China, as reflected in the joint commitment to economic cooperation that was expressed by President Trump and President Xi in April; and with Australia and Japan, our long-standing allies, whose alliances and friendships with America are now more important than ever.

“I have great confidence in the president’s national security team, and it is evident our Commander-in-Chief does as well.  The president deserves credit not only for having put this skilled team in place, but also for having consistently listened to them and heeded their recommendations on matters such as these in the face of political pressures and isolationist impulses.”  

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