On March 14, leaders from ASEAN were supposed to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Las Vegas, the first summit with Southeast Asian leaders on U.S. soil under the current administration. But the coronavirus shelved what was meant to be Trump's big bounce-back after failing to attend the last two East Asia Summits.
The U.S. was quick to recognize Southeast Asia's value early on. It was the first non-ASEAN country to name an ambassador to ASEAN in 2008 and the first to deploy a dedicated diplomatic mission there in 2010. In recent years, however, relations have come under serious strain as democracy and human rights became embattled there.