From the Overview: "Malaysia plays an active role in regional diplomacy, and it has been a partner in various U.S. initiatives in Asia, including trade and security initiatives as well as efforts to combat terrorism and religious extremism. It is one of four Southeast Asian nations that have territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea, and its export-led economy has encouraged it to undertake trade negotiations with the United States and others. Malaysia was a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), from which the United States withdrew in 2017, and it is one of 11 members of the renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Malaysia was an original member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and it sees itself as both a regional leader and a moderate voice within the Islamic world. Despite generally cooperative bilateral relations with the United States, some issues remain obstacles to closer ties, including Malaysian opposition to much U.S. policy in the Middle East, and U.S. concerns over some Malaysian economic and human-rights policies."
CRS In Focus, IF10316
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/