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Philippine International Convention Center
Manila, Philippines

2:57 P.M. PHT

PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Duterte, distinguished leaders, friends and partners: I’m honored to represent the United States of America at this U.S.-ASEAN Commemorative Summit. We gather today at a time of great promise and great challenge.

I speak to you on behalf of 350 million Americans with a message of friendship and partnership. I’m here to advance peace, to promote security, and to work with you to achieve a truly free and open Indo-Pacific, where we are proud and we have sovereign nations, and we thrive, and everybody wants to prosper.

This year we mark 40 years of friendship and cooperation between the United States and this organization. It’s a long time. I also want to congratulate ASEAN on 50 years of promoting peace and prosperity and stability in Southeast Asia and in the broader Indo-Pacific region.

Rodrigo, I would like to commend you on your success as ASEAN chair at this very critical moment in time and in the association’s history — such an important event. And I want to thank you for your incredible hospitality.

And the show last night, the talent at that show — I assume mostly from the Philippines — was fantastic. Thank you. And you were fantastic, also, very much, from the Philippines. (Applause.) We couldn’t tell the difference. (Laughter.)

I send the people of the Philippines warm greetings from the people of the United States.

I also want to thank Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia for the excellent job you’ve done as coordinator, and I appreciate it very much. I really appreciate it. You have coordinated so well with us.

For five decades, this organization has brought together a vital assembly of nations to build consensus on critical issues facing the region and the world. You have created a forum for all nations with a stake in the Indo-Pacific to listen, learn, and develop solutions to common challenges through strategic dialogue.

The United States remains committed to ASEAN’s central role as a regional forum for total cooperation. This diplomatic partnership advances the security and prosperity of the American people and the people of all Indo-Pacific nations.

In recent decades, nations across the region have built strong societies, robust economies, and vibrant communities of citizens. Really proud — totally proud, always — of their heritage, and confident in who they are.

Today, we celebrate your incredible success, and we also seek economic partnerships on the basis of fairness and reciprocity. As the world knows, the United States, since our election on November 8th, has been moving ahead really brilliantly on an economic basis. We have the highest stock market we’ve ever had. We have the lowest unemployment in 17 years. The value of stocks has risen $5.5 trillion.

And companies are moving into the United States. A lot of companies are moving. They’re moving back. They want to be there. The enthusiasm levels are the highest ever recorded on the charts. So we’re very happy about that, and we think that bodes very well for your region because of the relationship that we have.

So we want our partners in the region to be strong, independent, and prosperous, in control of their own destinies, and satellites to no one. These are the principles behind our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

So again, I wish you all the best of luck. It’s an honor to be here. And, Rodrigo, thank you very much for the way you treated all of us. Thank you. (Applause.)

END 3:02 P.M. PHT