Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) today in announcing the introduction of the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA). This legislation will serve as a policy framework to enhance U.S. leadership in Asia and to demonstrate a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and the rules-based international order.“With China’s increasingly assertive rise, it is critical that the United States reaffirm our commitment to securing a free and open Indo-Pacific region through enhanced cooperation with our democratic partners.” said Rubio. “This important piece of legislation will do just that by creating a framework for U.S. policy throughout the Indo-Pacific region on several key areas including trade, promotion of human rights, counterterrorism programs, and many other national security priorities. To ensure the arc of history bends toward a free and open Indo-Pacific, regional democracies will have to cooperate more, which is precisely what this legislation aims to foster.”
“This initiative is a generational approach that will put American interests first by reassuring our allies, deterring our adversaries, and securing U.S. leadership in the region for future generations,” said Gardner. “We believe that with this bipartisan vision for our Asia policy, the Administration and Congress can be united on implementing a long-term strategy that will benefit American national security interests, promote American businesses and create jobs through trade opportunities, and project American values of respect for the human rights and freedom that have made the America the shining city upon a hill.”
“The rules-based international order – absolutely fundamental to global peace and security – faces significant challenges in Asia, arguably the most consequential region for the United States,” said Markey. “This legislation reflects the region’s importance by addressing key challenges, including the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea, prioritizing reasonable and effective nonproliferation policies, promoting the freedom of navigation and overflight in maritime Asia, and defending human rights and the respect for democratic values.”
“U.S. relations with our Asian allies, partners, and adversaries will dominate the 21st century, and we need a clear set of strategic policies to bolster our national security and economic interests, framed in the values that define who we are – democratic principles, human rights, and the rule of law. I’m pleased this legislation places such a high premium on those priorities,” said Cardin. “U.S. foreign policy is always best conducted in a bipartisan fashion, and this legislation exemplifies that spirit. I thank my colleagues for their work on this legislation and look forward to its debate in the Senate.”
A background paper of ARIA can be found here.