The future of US economic engagement in the Asia Pacific



14 August 2015


University of Sydney

The US Studies Centre and US Consulate General Sydney hosted a special presentation by Kurt Tong, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Tong spoke on The Future of US Economic Engagement in the Asia Pacific.

As President Obama said at the University of Queensland last November, “today, our alliances, including with Australia, are stronger than they have ever been (and) American exports to this region have reached record levels.” The United States, Australia, and ten other negotiating partners are in the process of finalising the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will be a high standard regional trade agreement that will provide stronger protections for the environment, workers, and intellectual property, as well as ensure transparency and the rule of law.

The United States is the largest foreign investor in Australia, collaborates with Australia in regional economic organisations, including the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and East Asia Summit, and consults regularly with Australia on engagement with emerging economies in the Asia Pacific region. In this context, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Kurt Tong will discuss the importance of strong US-Australia economic ties to the future prosperity of the Asia Pacific region, including our bilateral cooperation within the TPP framework, our engagement with China, and our outreach to growing markets in Southeast Asia.

Co-hosted by United States of America Consulate, Sydney

The Future of US Economic Engagement in the Asia Pacific with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kurt Tong


  • Ambassador Kurt Tong
    Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, United States Department of State

    Ambassador Kurt Tong visited the US Studies Centre in 2015. Tong is the Consul General representing the United States to Hong Kong and Macau. Previously, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State, the most senior career diplomat handling economic affairs for the Department. Tong has also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d'Affaires in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to this, he was the US Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), managing all aspects of US participation in APEC, while concurrently serving as Economic Coordinator for the Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Tong has been a diplomat for the US State Department since 1990.