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Weekly Trade Spotlight: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum

This year, the United States is hosting APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Comprised of 21 member economies in the Asia-Pacific, APEC is often referred to as an “incubator” of trade policy ideas, because it plays a unique role in the development of cutting-edge trade concepts that reflect and respond to on-the-ground realities of business and commerce in the 21st century.

Tomorrow, Ambassador Kirk will give remarks previewing the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders’ meeting, which will be hosted by President Obama in Honolulu early next month. Topics on the APEC agenda will include promoting green growth; strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade; and advancing regulatory cooperation and convergence.

For example, tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services raise the cost and hinder the deployment of clean technologies. So working to remove these trade barriers will help to promote trade in environmental goods and services, as a new source of economic development and green growth for people throughout the Asia-Pacific.

APEC members are also looking at specific steps they can take to improve the quality of their regulatory systems and align their regulatory approaches more closely. These actions will boost productivity and promote job creation by eliminating unjustifiably burdensome regulations. And they will prevent needless barriers to trade from stifling economic growth and employment.

In addition, we are seeking agreement on ways to promote innovative, competitive, and open markets that spur entrepreneurship throughout the region, which is critical to long-term prosperity and job creation.

Removing barriers to trade supports U.S. jobs, because by creating additional opportunities for U.S. producers to sell goods and services overseas we can support more jobs for hard-working Americans here at home. APEC’s work is vital to tearing down trade barriers and opening up additional Asia-Pacific export opportunities for American producers, which will keep the United States on track to meet President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014.

Click here to find out more about APEC, and check out the USTR blog tomorrow for highlights from Ambassador Kirk’s remarks.