US lawmakers call on PM, DPM and key ministers

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat with US lawmakers (from left) Mike Lee, Tom Cole, Debbie Stabenow, Roy Blunt, Roger Wicker, Kevin Cramer and Jason Smith.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat with US lawmakers (from left) Mike Lee, Tom Cole, Debbie Stabenow, Roy Blunt, Roger Wicker, Kevin Cramer and Jason Smith.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ HENG SWEE KEAT

A delegation of US lawmakers met Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday, and both sides reaffirmed the longstanding and multifaceted cooperation between Singapore and the United States.

Mr Heng said in a Facebook post: "The US is an important partner for many countries in Asia, and we value their presence here. We have consistently supported the US' engagement of the region, including as a node to Asean and the rest of Asia for US companies and talent."

The delegation is led by Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri), chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and Senate Republican Policy chair, with Senators Roger Wicker (Mississippi), Debbie Stabenow (Michigan), Mike Lee (Utah) and Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), and Representatives Tom Cole (Oklahoma) and Jason Smith (Missouri).

On Tuesday, they called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana to discuss the relationship between Singapore and the US across the economic, defence and security spheres, and exchange views on recent developments.

Yesterday, the delegation met Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who thanked the US for its continued support for the Singapore Armed Forces' overseas training and access to US technology, and the Americans expressed their gratitude for Singapore's longstanding support for the US' presence in the region, said the Defence Ministry.

Both sides also discussed geopolitical developments and the importance of the US' continued regional presence and engagement.

The lawmakers met Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing over breakfast, and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan over lunch.

Mr Chan said in a Facebook post: "Singapore is one of the largest investors in the US with companies and investments in more than 30 US states, while the US is our largest foreign investor. I look forward to greater collaboration with the US for the mutual benefit of our businesses and workers."

Rei Kurohi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2019, with the headline 'US lawmakers call on PM, DPM and key ministers'. Print Edition | Subscribe