Stimson Center’s Report: The Mekong Matters for America and America Matters for the Mekong

This report explores the trade, investment, business, diplomacy, security, education, and people-to-people connections between the United States and the five countries of mainland Southeast Asia referred to as the Mekong region.
BY Brian Eyler Co-Author ·  Courtney Weatherby Co-Author

Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are bound together and geographically defined by the Mekong River, which has historically provided a rich, natural bounty of fish, agricultural productivity, physical connectivity, and key environmental services to more than 60 million people living in the river basin. The Mekong’s importance has only grown as the region’s social, economic, and diplomatic ties export the river’s bounty to the rest of the world. As the region develops, urbanization, infrastructure development, and climate change—among other changes—are all impacting the river, its resources, and the millions who depend on the mighty Mekong.

Part of the East-West Center’s Asia Matters for America initiative, this publication and the website are resources for understanding the robust and dynamic US relationship with the Mekong region.