As a Pacific nation, the United States remains committed to engagement with other Pacific nations, strengthening our alliances and friendships, reaching out to emerging partners, and strengthening multilateral institutions. "We are a resident power in Asia," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "not only a diplomatic or military power, but a resident economic power. And we are here to stay."
Continued prosperity, however, will demand rigorous reforms by the U.S. as well as all nations in Asia. The U.S. must save more and spend less and Asian countries must be willing to create greater domestic demand by spending more. This will raise living standards across the region, create jobs, improve business for many and help stabilize the global economy.
Secretary Clinton laid out four attributes that characterize healthy competition. The first is an open system where any person anywhere can participate in markets everywhere. Second is a free economic system where ideas, information, products and capital flow across borders unimpeded by unnecessary barriers. "As we welcome investors to the United States," said Secretary Clinton, "we hope that all investors, including those from America, will receive an enthusiastic welcome overseas."
Another attribute of a healthy economy is transparency. Rules and regulations need to be developed out in the open through consultation with stakeholders. And finally economic competition requires fairness. Fairness sustains faith in the system. That faith is difficult to sustain when companies are forced to trade away their intellectual property just to enter or expand in a foreign market or when vital supply chains are blocked.
The United States is promoting these principles around the world through multilateral and regional institutions, new trade agreements, and outreach to new partners. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, or APEC, is the premier organization for pursuing economic integration and growth in the region. Looking ahead, the U.S. would like APEC to address strengthening global supply chains; empowering smaller companies to connect to global markets; and promoting market driven, nondiscriminatory innovation policy.
"This agenda," said Secretary Clinton, "is good for Asia, it's good for America, it's good for business. Most importantly, it's good for people. And I absolutely believe it will help us create a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous world for the rest of this century."