Trump message to Asia on trade: 'America First'

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As President Trump nears the end of his first trip to Asia, foreign policy experts are gauging the possible effect the 12-day long diplomatic tour will have on US economic and political relations in the region.

"We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore", Trump told business leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Danang, Vietnam.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who chaired the summit, told reporters that "almost every leader" mentioned North Korea in their speeches.

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The US is closely monitoring the spread of extremism in the Southeast Asia and the growing threat from terrorist groups, including those affiliated with ISIS, he said.


Brennan said Trump's ambiguity on Russia's involvement was "very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint".

Questions about whether Trump believes the assessment about Russian election-meddling have trailed him since January, when he said for the first time, shortly before taking office, that he accepted that Russia was behind the election-year hacking of Democrats that roiled the White House race.

Of course, not one to pass up an opportunity to pat himself on the back, Trump declared his tour of Asia "has been a very fruitful trip for us, and also in all fairness, for a lot of other nations".

He tried to have it both ways on the issue of Russian interference in last year's presidential race, saying he believes both the USA intelligence agencies when they say Russia meddled and Putin's sincerity in claiming that his country did not.

"Just arrived at #ASEAN50 in the Philippines for my final stop with World Leaders".


Observers, however, warned that skipping the East Asia Summit would do the opposite. Duterte has come under intense criticism from human rights advocates for overseeing a violent drug crackdown that includes extrajudicial killings. The summit was held approximately two hours later than scheduled, which is believed to have led to Trump's absence.

He said "a lot of things are happening on trade" and that he will announce what happened in meetings in South Korea, China and other places.

But swirling questions about Russian Federation followed Trump halfway across the globe.

The protesters shouted for Trump to leave and accused the United States, a former colonizer of the Philippines, of looking for overseas wars.

The US president concluded on Monday that the trip had been a success and no American leader had ever been granted such a welcome in Asia.


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