Northeast Asia and the New Congress

Hosted by the Korea Economic Institute.

“The recent midterm elections brought a significant shift with Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives. While the Trump administration has been able to pursue its policies largely unimpeded for the last two years, it will now have to deal with opposition control of the House. How might Democratic control of the House impact key policy issues in Northeast Asia, such as the Trump administration’s efforts to reach an agreement with North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapon and missile programs or its trade policy towards China? How might the Trump administration work with a divided Congress?

Please join Sasakawa USA and the Korea Economic Institute for a discussion on how the new Congress may influence U.S. policy towards Northeast Asia.


Congressman Charles Boustany is Counselor and Chair of the Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy at the National Bureau of Asian Research. Congressman Boustany retired from the U.S. Congress after serving from 2005 to 2017.​​​​​​​ Congressman Boustany was an acknowledged leader in the areas of trade policy, international tax policy, energy policy, and foreign policy in the U.S. House of Representatives. He co-chaired the U.S.-China Working Group, the U.S.-Japan Caucus, and the Friends of TPP Caucus. Congressman Boustany was a very early promoter of U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas and crude oil.​​​​​​​

Ambassador Kathleen Stephens is President & CEO at the Korea Economic Institute. Ambassador Stephens was a career diplomat in the United States Foreign Service, 1978-2015. She was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 2008-2011, the first woman and first Korean-speaker to serve in that position. Other overseas assignments included postings to China, former Yugoslavia, Portugal, Northern Ireland, where she was U.S. Consul General in Belfast during the negotiations culminating in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and India, where she was U.S. Charge ‘d Affaires (2014-2015).​​​​​​​

Ambassador James Zumwalt is CEO at Sasakawa Peace Foundation, USA. During his 36-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Zumwalt has served in a variety of assignments with a focus on Asia and international economics in Washington, Tokyo, Beijing, Kinshasa, Dakar, and Bissau. In Washington, D.C., he worked in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Japan, Korea, and Philippines desks and also at the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and the United States Trade Representative’s Office. He speaks Japanese, French, and some Chinese.​​​​​​​

Ambassador Joseph Yun is Senior Advisor to the Asia Center at U.S. Institute for Peace​​​​​.​​ As former US Special Representative for North Korea Policy, he is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on relations with North Korea, as well as on broader US-East Asian policy. His 33-year diplomatic career has been marked by his commitment to face-to-face engagement as the best avenue for resolving conflict and advancing cross-border cooperation.​​​​​​​”

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