THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
October 2, 2017
Joint Statement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand
Stronger Alliance for Common Security and Closer Economic Partnership for Common Prosperity
1. The President of the United States of America Donald J. Trump welcomed the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha to the White House today to reaffirm the importance of the enduring alliance between the United States and Thailand and to discuss their shared commitment to promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
2. The two leaders shared the view that the long friendship and close cooperation that have existed between their two countries and peoples for almost two centuries constitute a firm foundation for further strengthening of United States-Thailand relations. President Trump extended his profound condolences on behalf of the American people for the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who was born in the United States and a true friend of America throughout his 70-year reign.
3. The two leaders affirmed that a strong and thriving United States-Thailand alliance is underpinned by shared interests and common values. The two leaders shared a vision of a stronger alliance for common security, a closer economic partnership for common prosperity, and growing people-to-people ties.
Stronger alliance for common security
4. The two leaders emphasized that our historic alliance has been a key feature in underpinning peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and resolved to further strengthen the alliance through a broad range of measures, including enhanced dialogue, closer coordination, regular exchange of visits, and defense modernization efforts to ensure it continues to help shape the future of the region.
5. Building on the 2012 Joint Vision Statement for the United States-Thailand Alliance, the two leaders hailed continued efforts to advance their alliance, including through the recent United States-Thailand Strategic Dialogue and the planned Defense Strategic Talks later this year. The two leaders also welcomed closer military-to-military cooperation and joint exercises, including Cobra Gold—the largest multilateral military exercise in Asia, which help promote interoperability and friendship.
6. Recognizing the leading role of Thailand in promoting regional peace and security, and in support of regional architecture centered on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which advocates a peaceful settlement of disputes and confidence building, the two leaders discussed a number of security issues, including:
a. South China Sea. The two leaders highlighted the importance of a peaceful and stable South China Sea, a vital waterway for global commerce, and freedom of navigation and overflight. Consonant with the Sunnylands Declaration, they reaffirmed their shared commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They welcomed the adoption of the framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) and called for an early conclusion of the COC. They also concurred on the need for a cooperative approach to ensuring a peaceful, stable, and sustainable South China Sea.
b. Korean Peninsula. The two leaders expressed grave concern about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s unprecedented number of nuclear and ballistic missile tests over the last year, and reaffirmed their resolve, and urged all parties concerned, to strictly implement all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions with a view to realizing a peaceful, stable and denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
c. The Situation in Rakhine State. The two leaders discussed the situation in Rakhine State of Myanmar, and the need for expeditious humanitarian assistance to affected communities in a coordinated manner. They welcomed the Myanmar government’s commitment to end the violence, ensure the safe return of displaced persons, and accept the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, and they look forward to implementation of these efforts. They expressed their support for ASEAN’s role in working with the Myanmar government to provide humanitarian assistance.
7. President Trump recognized the important role of Thailand in ASEAN and noted his appreciation of Thailand’s strong support for a wide-ranging partnership between the United States and ASEAN. The two leaders pledged to strengthen bilateral and regional cooperation to promote the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, including cooperative efforts to combat regional and global security threats like terrorism, pandemics, and transnational trafficking in persons, drugs, and wildlife. The United States welcomes Thailand’s active role in promoting regional cooperation to combat trafficking in persons and both sides decided to strengthen their partnership to address this common challenge. The two sides determined to work more closely on intelligence sharing and law enforcement training, and to make full use of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok to forge networks and enhance coordination among law enforcement officials in the Indo-Pacific. They pledged to strengthen partnership on global health security, including through close cooperation between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Thai counterparts, and the joint collaboration at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Bangkok. They expressed that they look forward to strengthening cooperation in the area of maritime security to advance Indo-Pacific security.
8. Recognizing Thailand’s strategic importance to the United States and the region, President Trump welcomed Thailand’s commitment to the Roadmap, which, upon completion of relevant organic laws as stipulated by the Constitution, will lead to free and fair elections in 2018. The two leaders also recognized the importance of protecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Closer Economic Partnership for Common Prosperity
9. The two leaders highlighted the long-standing and mutually-beneficial economic relations between the United States and Thailand. They underscored their shared desire to strengthen bilateral economic ties, grow their respective economies through expansion of trade and investment, and create jobs and favorable conditions for commerce and business in both countries, including in the digital sphere. They stressed the importance of promoting free and fair trade, including in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and noted their interest in continuing discussions under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to further reenergize their trade relations and ensure balanced trade. The two leaders welcomed the progress made by the Thai Government to enhance intellectual property rights protection and enforcement and the announcement by the U.S. Trade Representative of a Special 301 Out-of-Cycle review of Thailand because of recent actions by Thailand to address intellectual property issues. They also noted recent progress to further expand bilateral trade and tasked their teams to resolve expeditiously concerns related to agricultural trade, customs, and workers’ rights.
10. The two leaders recognize the importance of the 1966 Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between the United States and Thailand, and affirmed the importance of promoting bilateral trade and creating favorable conditions for the business of both sides. Prime Minister Prayut welcomed the United States as a leading investor in Thailand. President Trump welcomed growing investment from Thai companies in the United States and its potential contribution to the creation of jobs for American workers. The two leaders welcomed the enhancement of collaboration on standards and between the private sectors of the United States and Thailand.
11. The two leaders stressed the importance of strengthening people-to-people ties, especially youth, as a solid foundation for enduring alliance and partnership. They recognized the important contributions of over 7,000 Thai students currently studying in the United States and the Thai-American community, as well as more than 5,000 Peace Corps volunteers in Thailand over the past decades. T hey pledged support for closer cooperation in the areas of education, youth exchanges, entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, among others.
12. President Trump and Prime Minister Prayut saluted the 200th anniversary of the first contact between the United States and Thailand in 1818, and welcomed preparations to celebrate this momentous occasion in 2018.