FOREIGN POLICY/JAPAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump’s top diplomat will visit Japan on Wednesday followed by stops in South Korea and China, a vital trip for an administration that has sent mixed signals to a region facing new risks.
On the eve of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first official trip to Asia, the administration signaled a shift away from President Barack Obama’s ‘rebalancing’ policy of focusing more resources on allies and partners in Asia, and towards Mr. Trump’s trademark ‘America first’ approach to economic interests and diplomacy.
‘What we’re looking to do is approach our economic engagement with Asia in a way that not only promotes growth but also promotes the interests of the United States, of United States workers, of United States citizens and of United States companies,’ Susan A. Thornton, acting assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said at a press briefing on Monday [3-13-17]. ‘We’re looking for a way of…leveling the playing field.’ “
-Felicia Schwartz, Jeremy Page, and Jonathan Cheng, “Top U.S. Diplomat’s First Asia Trip Comes Amid Tensions Over North Korea,” The Wall Street Journal online, March 14, 2017