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International relations

Southeast Asian nations rush for one last deal with Trump

Leaders angle for more security and economic help as Biden era draws near

Indonesia's coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, left, stands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in November. (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian government)

JAKARTA/HANOI -- From the Philippines to Indonesia, countries across Southeast Asia have pursued an array of new security and economic agreements with the U.S., hoping for last-minute deals with an American president known for his transactional approach to diplomacy.

Despite President Donald Trump's relative lack of interest in the region -- he has continued to skip attending the East Asia Summit -- Southeast Asia has enjoyed a boost in trade with the U.S. during his years in office. The region is also wary of the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden's anticipated emphasis on human rights and democratic values.

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