“The difference between a region on the path to sustainable growth and one whose gains will be more short-lived comes down to norms."
The United States is committed to a global economic system based on agreed-upon rules of the road that apply to all nations, developed and developing alike: a system that is open, free, transparent. This commitment is central to United States strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC summit in Vladivostok.
“President Obama took office in the midst of the global financial crisis and worldwide recession. There was then and is [now] an urgent need to rebalance our economy and reduce instability. So we set out at the start to accomplish a number of goals to advance economic progress,” she said.
Our first goal is to advocate for an end to protectionist practices. To unleash the Asia-Pacific region’s full potential, we must eliminate policies that distort markets. Protectionist practices that create barriers to trade for some companies but not others disrupt supply chains, scare investors, and ultimately, they set back economies and weaken the rules of the road that are designed to benefit everyone.
The second is to pursue new trade agreements. For example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership now being negotiated will bring together at least 11 economies, developed and developing alike, into a single Pacific trading community. It will lower trade barriers while raising standards, creating more and better growth.
Third, we must work through global and international institutions to address sources of financial stress. Such problems are international in their scope and cannot be solved by one country working alone. “If we do this right,” said Secretary Clinton, “globalization can become a race to the top, with rising standards of living and more broadly shared prosperity.”
And finally, we must push for reforms that allow more people to participate in the global economy.
“The difference between a region on the path to sustainable growth and one whose gains will be more short-lived comes down to norms, to those so-called rules of the road,” said Secretary Clinton. “Setting and enforcing them should be a top priority for governments and businesses alike. Leaders across the Asia-Pacific have an opportunity to set the task forward now. The United States stands ready to be [a] constructive partner in these efforts.”