National security adviser, Commerce Secretary to represent Trump at Asian summit

National security adviser, Commerce Secretary to represent Trump at Asian summit
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National security adviser Robert O'Brien and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis Ross2020 census to run ads on 'Premio lo Nuestro' Can the US slap tariffs on auto imports? Not anymore On The Money: Slowing economy complicates 2020 message for Trump | Tech confronts growing impact of coronavirus | Manufacturing rises after five-month contraction MORE will visit two regional summits in Thailand on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE's behalf this weekend, the White House announced Tuesday.

According to The Associated Press, O'Brien, who isn't technically a part of Trump's Cabinet, will attend the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit and the subsequent East Asia summit.


At both summits, O'Brien, who became Trump's national security adviser in September after John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump directly sought to block publication of Bolton's book: WaPo 'Parasite' studio fires back after Trump criticism: 'He can't read' Trump swipes at 'little wise guy' Brad Pitt, Korean film 'Parasite' during rally MORE was ousted, will engage in sideline talks that include other major players in the region, including China, Japan and South Korea.

Ross will head a trade delegation Nov. 3-8 in Bangkok and is set to speak at an Indo-Pacific Business Forum on Monday, the AP reports. 

While Trump attended the summits in 2017, Vice President Pence attended the meetings last year in lieu of the president. 

Busadee Santipataks, director-general of Thailand's Foreign Ministry’s Department of Information, told the AP that "the presence of the U.S. in these meetings will surely contribute constructively to these ASEAN-U.S. meetings.”

However, a major part of the summit that won't include the U.S. is the working of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The free-trade agreement would include all members of ASEAN and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

If the agreement comes to fruition it would reportedly create one of the world's largest trading blocs, accounting for roughly 45 percent of the world’s population and nearly a third of global gross domestic product.