On the final day of 2018, U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which passed the U.S. Senate earlier that month.
The act “establishes a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region,” according to the White House.
The ARIA Act, specifically, calls for America’s increased engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and strengthened support, including arms sales, for U.S. allies in the region.
The act develops a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted, and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region.
Key highlights of the Act:
- Authorizes US$ 1.5 billion annually for 5 years to enhance U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific.
- Reaffirms U.S. security commitments to our allies in the Indo-Pacific, including Japan, South Korea, and Australia and builds security partnerships with nations in Southeast Asia.
- Establishes a policy goal to peacefully denuclearize North Korea through the campaign of maximum pressure and engagement.
- Enhances the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and security relationship with India.
- Enforces U.S. freedom of navigation and overflight rights in the Indo-Pacific.
- Expresses support for regular arms sales to Taiwan and to enhance the economic, political, and security relationship between Taiwan and the United States.
- Promotes robust cybersecurity cooperation with our allies in the region.
- Sets U.S. policy to pursue effective arms control and nuclear nonproliferation policies in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Promotes economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region as essential for the growth of the U.S. economy and the success of American businesses.
- Authorizes bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations with Indo-Pacific nations.
- Provides for robust U.S. commercial presence throughout the Indo-Pacific region to promote U.S. exports and additional trade facilitation efforts.
- Authorizes the imposition of penalties on entities and governments engaged in the theft of United States intellectual property.
- Requires a new comprehensive U.S. policy to promote energy exports.
- Provides US$ 150 million annually for 5 years for democracy, rule of law, and civil society support, including $10 million annually for freedom of information efforts in North Korea.
- Call for additional U.S. efforts against trafficking-in-persons and human slavery; and Authorizes U.S. sanctions against human rights abusers.