The United States is increasing its efforts for free, open and transparent trade across the Asia Pacific region, working to achieve greater prosperity there. As this year’s host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the United States will work to develop and promote strategies that improve opportunities for businesses to compete in all of the 21-member economies, stretching from Canada to Chile to Indonesia.
At a meeting of APEC member Senior Officials in Washington March 9, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Asia Pacific region faces many challenges, such as rising food and fuel prices, environmental threats such as greenhouse gases, and threatened resources. In addressing these issues, the United States and its APEC partners must work together to create jobs, increase trade and investment, promote innovation, invest in education, and pursue broad-based and inclusive economic growth, she said.
To achieve these, she laid out four principles that the United States believes are critical to supporting economic growth: openness, freedom, transparency and fairness. Openness invites growth through broad participation by workers, consumers, investors and entrepreneurs. A free system reduces barriers to trade and investment. Without transparency, trade rules can be applied arbitrarily to the disadvantage of some. And finally, a fair trading system allows companies to compete for business according to their own strengths, not government manipulation.
The United States stands behinds these principles because we believe that they ensure the best circumstances for all nations to rise, from emerging economies to those that are highly developed.