The 21 Pacific Rim economies that comprise the membership of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum are home to approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, and three-fifths of the global economy. And over the next five years, half of all economic growth outside of the United States will take place in APEC countries.
“In the 21st century,” said President Barack Obama at a recent APEC CEO Summit, “one country's prosperity doesn't have to come at the expense of another. If we work together and act together, strengthening the economic ties between our nations will benefit all of our nations. That's true for the nations of APEC, and I believe it's particularly true for the relationship between the United States and China.”
The United States welcomes the rise of a prosperous, peaceful and stable China. In fact, we helped China integrate into the global economy. That’s because even though we do compete for business, we believe China’s participation in the rules-based international economic system enables us to work together on global challenges, promotes more open and market-driven bilateral and international trade and investment, and is ultimately good for our own economy.
We hope to persuade China to take specific actions that will help expand trade and investment across the Asia Pacific, including pursuing a high-standard and comprehensive bilateral investment treaty that embodies the principles of non-discrimination, fairness, openness, and transparency. Said President Obama:
“We look to China to create a more level playing field on which foreign companies are treated fairly so that they can compete fairly with Chinese companies; a playing field where competition policy promotes the welfare of consumers and doesn’t benefit just one set of companies over another. We look to China to become an innovative economy that values the protection of intellectual property rights, and rejects cybertheft of trade secrets for commercial gain. We look to China to approve biotechnology advances that are critical to feeding a growing planet on the same timeline as other countries, to move definitively toward a more market-determined exchange rate, and, yes, to stand up for human rights and freedom of the press.”
Such actions would be good for the United States, good for sustainable growth in China, and good for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are the two largest economies in the world,” said President Obama. “If China and the United States can work together, the world benefits.”