Congressman Faleomavaega announced that on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 he was elected by unanimous consent to be the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Faleomavaega is the third most senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and was the first Samoan in the history of the U.S. Congress and also the first Asian Pacific American to ever serve as the Chairman of the Subcommittee. As Ranking Member, Faleomavaega will be the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
The subcommittee will have broad oversight and jurisdiction for U.S. foreign policy affecting Australia, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macau Special Administrative Region), Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, North Korea, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. The subcommittee also has jurisdiction over issues relating to international fisheries agreements, and the law of the sea.
“Once more, I am pleased that our territory will have a voice in the serious matters affecting this important part of the world, especially given that American Samoa is positioned in the Asia Pacific region,” Faleomavaega said.
“Many of our military men and women from American Samoa serve in South Korea and it will be the work of the subcommittee to find new ways to strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance and resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis.”
“Our Pacific Island neighbors are also confronted with new challenges, and I am pleased to be traveling on an upcoming Congressional Delegation (CODEL) that will consider how we might address some of these concerns. The CODEL will tentatively make two stop-overs in American Samoa for refueling and, as the trip draws nearer, I will provide updates.”
“U.S.-China relations continue to require our attention, and I am hopeful that we will also bolster our partnerships in Southeast Asia considering its strategic importance to U.S. interests.”
“I thank the people of American Samoa for allowing me the opportunity to serve in this capacity. With your support and prayers, I sincerely believe we can make a difference and be a voice for good at home and abroad regarding the many issues confronting our nation today,” Faleomavaega concluded.