Amata Welcomes President’s Executive Order on Economic Empowerment for Asian American Pacific Islanders

May 14, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Monday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata joined President Trump, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and other leaders at the White House for the signing of the President’s Executive Order promoting the economic empowerment of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA).

“This is a welcome and important Executive Order for all of our Asian and Pacific Islander communities throughout the country,” said Aumua Amata. “Thank you, President Trump, for this Executive Order and this dual effort to support economic growth and development among all Americans of APIA heritage, as part of a clear focus on jobs and opportunity for all Americans.”

Congresswoman Amata at President's Signing of Executive Order
Congresswoman Amata joined President Trump and dignitaries in the Oval Office as he signed the Executive Order

As President Trump states in his Executive Order: “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made important contributions to science and technology, culture and the arts, and the professions, such as business, law, medicine, education, politics, and economics. Their shared accomplishments and legacies are an inspirational, significant, and celebrated part of the American experience.”

Congresswoman Amata looking on as the President signs the Executive OrderAumua Amata looks on as President Trump signed an Executive Order on the Economic Empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (White House photo)

The Executive Order (available here in its entirety) notes that the APIA communities are rapidly growing, and estimates expect people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to total 40 million Americans, or 9 percent of the country, by 2060. The President made the announcement in an Oval Office signing ceremony. He was joined by those he has already announced will comprise the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including Aumua Amata, the only Pacific Islander on the Commission who lives in the islands.

Among other actions, the Order officially establishes both the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Commission is a group of advisors, each of whom has extensively worked in the APIA community, while the Initiative is a federal inter-agency working group comprised of input from various departments of the Trump Administration and specifically focused on the APIA community. Emphasizing the economic empowerment effort, the Commission is being established within the U.S. Department of Commerce.