Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement ahead of the U.S.-ASEAN Summit that will be held at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California:

“Asia is critically important to California and I am glad this year’s U.S.–ASEAN Summit will be held in my home state.  From defense cooperation to combating human trafficking, this summit is an important opportunity to make progress on a range of issues essential to deepening the U.S.-ASEAN partnership.  

"Specifically, I hope the administration will work with foreign partners to address substantive concerns that have been raised with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  TPP stands to bolster America's economy, as well as our standing in this growing and increasingly important part of the world.  But it will not be enacted without strong, focused leadership from the White House.

"Of course, as we look to advance trade and growth, we must also seek greater respect for human rights.  Too many in southeast Asia are denied basic freedoms. The Obama administration must use its influence to press for serious reforms and  inspire those that peacefully seek democracy and fundamental rights.  Remaining silent on this front would be inexcusable.

“Following this upcoming summit, I hope to see a stronger commitment to the ‘pivot to Asia’ from this administration.”

NOTE: Chairman Royce has long focused on the importance of a strong U.S. presence in Asia.  In the last three years Chairman Royce has lead three bipartisan congressional delegations to Asia.