Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

Trump’s Grueling Asia Trip: 5 Nations, 12 Days

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President Trump’s earlier decision to skip the Philippines summit meeting had rattled officials in the region, who warned that it would raise questions about the commitment of the United States to Southeast Asia. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump has decided to attend a summit meeting of Pacific Rim leaders in the Philippines on Nov. 14, the White House said on Friday, a decision that will tack an extra day onto his already marathon tour of the region.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for Hawaii, the first leg of his trip, Mr. Trump said he planned to spend an extra day in the Philippines at the end of his 11 days on the road.

Later, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, confirmed that he would attend the East Asia summit, a meeting of leaders from Australia, Japan, China, Russia and other countries that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, had made a priority.

Mr. Trump’s earlier decision to skip the meeting had rattled officials in the region, who warned that it would raise questions about the United States’ commitment to Southeast Asia.

Coupled with Mr. Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and his heavy focus on the North Korea crisis, some analysts said that if he were a no-show at the summit, it would deepen questions about America’s future in the region.

Separately, a spokesman for the Kremlin said that American and Russian officials were discussing a meeting between Mr. Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, which could occur on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam, before Mr. Trump flies to Manila.

“The importance for international affairs of any contact between the Russian and U.S. presidents can hardly be overestimated,” the spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Friday. On Thursday, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, did not rule out a meeting.

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Wendy Pettit

Wendy Pettit is a writer for NYT and writes for other publications on her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and her dog Zuko.

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