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United States Trade Representative Ronald Kirk Concludes Visit to Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum's (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting

Singapore - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk concluded his visit today to the 2009 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum's (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting from July 21 to 22 in Singapore.

At the forum, APEC ministers agreed to accelerate work to strengthen regional economic integration, including by breaking down barriers to trade in services and environmental goods and services. APEC Ministers will also seek to ensure that the benefits of globalization are spread more widely across societies and that growth strategies are consistent with sustainable development.

"APEC members understand the importance of trade perhaps better than any other regional grouping, as trade among the 21 APEC members represents 45 percent of global trade, and nearly 50 percent of global GDP," said Ambassador Kirk in a briefing today held on-site with reporters. "APEC economies have the trading power and the collective potential to move global trade in the right directions - away from protectionism, toward more open markets, and toward a stronger rules-based system in which more countries are able to extend the benefits of trade for their workers, businesses - especially small businesses -- and families."

While in Singapore, Ambassador Kirk held a series of bilateral meetings with APEC counterparts from Korea, Singapore, China, Vietnam, Peru, Malaysia, and Canada, and a trilateral meeting with the Mexican and Canadian trade ministers as well.

Ambassador Kirk also held a briefing for US businesses and was a featured guest at the APEC business luncheon along with Singaporean Trade Minister Lim Hng Kian and World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy.

Ambassador Kirk also congratulated Singapore as the APEC host for 2009 and said the United States would build upon the 2009 APEC successes as host of APEC in 2011.