Officials tell conference US will remain a Pacific power

U.S. officials have told an Australian conference that the United States will stay committed to remaining a Pacific power despite potential policy changes under President Donald Trump.

The political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, John Hennessey-Niland, told the conference Monday that U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region can be reassured the Pacific will remain key to U.S. interests under the new administration. He says joint training and information-sharing will increase.

Trump while campaigning for the presidency had called on U.S. allies to invest more on defending themselves and described the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as obsolete.

Amy Searight, a former U.S. Deputy Assistant of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, says Trump "does appear ... to be backing off the campaign rhetoric" in his attitude toward U.S. allies.