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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday missed a summit with Southeast Asian leaders for the third consecutive year, having last attended the event in 2017, AP reports.

Why it matters: China is poised to expand its influence in the Southeast Asian region through a significant trade deal, including nations such as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The U.S. will not be included and India pulled out of the deal.

The big picture: Trump has been challenging the results of the U.S. election, wherein Joe Biden has been declared president elect.

  • National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told the AP that Trump regrets his not attending
  • O’Brien told the summit on Trump's behalf on Saturday that the administration appreciates its trade agreements with Southeast Asia, stating, "We deeply appreciate ASEAN partners’ efforts to keep the key supply chains open, factories operating and PPE flowing."

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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New deals in the COVID economy

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COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

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Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.