USTR Schwab to Attend APEC Meeting in Cairns, Australia July 5-6 to Resuscitate Global Trade Talks
WASHINGTON, DC – United States Trade Representatives Susan C. Schwab will attend the 13th meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers in Cairns, Australia from July 5-6 where she will discuss regional trade and investment initiatives as well the World Trade Organization Doha negotiations.
“APEC has a strong history of infusing momentum to the WTO negotiations at critical junctures,” said Ambassador Schwab. “I am looking forward to discussing with my fellow APEC Trade Ministers putting the Doha Round on track toward a strong market-opening outcome. These meetings will also serve the crucial role of strengthening our regional trade and investment ties. The unified voice of the 21 APEC economies accounting for 60 percent of global GDP speaks with a powerful force.”
Ambassador Schwab will focus her attention on promoting trade and investment liberalization. The Bush Administration has strengthened U.S. trade ties with the growing and dynamic economies of the Asia-Pacific. For example, on June 30, the United States will sign a landmark Free Trade Agreement with Korea and on June 21 concluded a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Vietnam. The APEC meeting in Cairns will help the United States further expand its trade and economic partnerships in the region.
Ambassador Schwab will be advancing the idea of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) as a long-term goal for APEC and press for initiatives that can slowly mover APEC in this direction.
“FTAAP is a visionary proposal that APEC is well-suited to take on,” said Amb. Schwab. “By more effectively knitting together the dynamic economies of the region, an FTAAP would some day yield enormous social and commercial benefits for the people of the Asia-Pacific region, including the United States.”
The meeting in Cairns is also expected to advance APEC's work on strengthening intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, promoting high-quality free trade agreements, and facilitating the flow of goods and services throughout the region. Attracting $645 billion in U.S. goods exports last year, the APEC economies are critically important to the United States.
Founded in 1989, APEC has been a leader in global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and the driving force behind WTO initiatives on information technology and trade facilitation. APEC played a crucial role in putting the Doha Round back on track after the 2003 Cancun Ministerial.
APEC economies account for 2.7 billion consumers, approximately 60 percent of world GDP, and roughly 50 percent of global trade. Over 60 percent ($645 billion) of U.S. goods exports went to APEC economies in 2006. In addition to the United States, other APEC members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, China; Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.