The United States is committed to “an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community ... that enhances the prosperity of its people and future generations,” declared Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the recent APEC Ministerial meeting in San Francisco:
“The United States believes in that vision, a region where economies are free to choose their own path and their own partners; where problems are dealt with openly; where rules are reached transparently and applied fairly; where goods, ideas, people flow lawfully and freely.”
“We have made real progress toward that more prosperous future,” noted Secretary Blinken. Since the creation of APEC three decades ago, GDP in the region has increased from $19 trillion to $52.8 trillion. Per capita income has grown roughly fourfold, lifting millions of people out of poverty. APEC’s 21 member economies now represent 40 percent of the world’s population. They generate half of global trade and produce 60 percent of the world’s goods and services.
The United States is emphasizing three priorities for APEC in the days ahead, said Secretary Blinken. The first is interconnectedness.
“We’re working to build greater supply chain resilience, to invest in the high-quality, sustainable infrastructure that connects us and lays the foundation for broad-based growth,” he said.
The second priority is innovation, said Secretary Blinken:
“Taking advantage of APEC’s role in the – as an incubator of ideas, we’re working to advance new solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing the region and facing the world, from facilitating a just energy transition to shaping a digital economy that lifts up workers and businesses.”
“Third,” said Secretary Blinken, “we’re strengthening inclusivity and unleashing our people’s untapped potential, whether that’s creating more opportunities for women in STEM, giving indigenous entrepreneurs greater access to capital, or exploring low Earth satellite systems to expand connectivity to remote and rural areas.”
“[T]he people we represent, are hungry to help build that more resilient, more sustainable, more connected future. They’re ready to work, to invest, to innovate, to drive the growth that will further strengthen our shared region. And our responsibility, our job, is to help them do just that.”