WASHINGTON: A US congressional delegation comprising nine republicans – four Senators and five Representatives – recently returned to the US following a low-key visit to the countries of three key Asian trading partners, namely Thailand, Myanmar and Japan.
The delegation included Senator Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Senator John Cornyn (Texas), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Senator Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Congressman Mike Conaway (Texas), Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming), Congressman Luke Messer (Indiana), Congressman Brad Wenstrup (Ohio), and Congressman Steve Russell (Oklahoma).
According to this report the delegation’s agenda in Southeast Asia was to meet with leaders to discuss democracy progress, as well as the “prosperity and security of Americans”.
In context to trade, Japan is one of the signatories of the controversial Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP) trade agreement, but Thailand has yet to confirm its joining of the bloc despite continued pressure and encouragement from US corporate representatives and politicians.
Both Thailand and Myanmar are key members of the Asean Economic Community cooperation, which officially commenced at the start of this year.
Republicans in the US, commonly referred to as conservatives, typically stand for strong business and corporate values with minimal regulation from government.