U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday and met his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai for a bilateral meeting.
Tillerson is the most senior U.S. official to visit Thailand since a 2014 coup, when the U.S. downgraded diplomatic and military ties with Bangkok, Washington’s oldest ally in the region.
A spokeswoman for the State Department’s East Asia Bureau said Tillerson will discuss a broad range of issues including security, trade and investment. His visit follows his attendance at a regional forum in Manila at the weekend.
Thai officials voiced hope ahead of his visit of escaping U.S. pressure over the size of their trade surplus with the United States as their figures point to a jump in imports, but U.S. data shows little change.
The U.S. estimate of a Thai trade surplus of $18.9 billion put it in 11th place on U.S. President Donald Trump’s list of countries to be investigated.