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As the global economic
downturn enters its second year, the United States and other nations in the
Asia-Pacific region are looking to enhanced trade to help restore growth. The
meeting next month of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum will
focus on promoting recovery. Ways to ease trade and discourage protectionism
are expected to be high on the agenda. In a sign of how much importance the
U.S. is giving the meeting, President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend.
The U.S. is looking to develop a 21st century economic policy agenda for its twenty trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region. Those nations, which range from China, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea to Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru, account for almost half of all global trade. Sixty percent of goods exported by the U.S. go to APEC economies and five of America's top seven trade partners are APEC members. Through technical cooperation and policy alignment APEC works to foster an environment for the safe and efficient movement of goods, services and people in the region.
By expanding trade among the APEC economies, the U.S. seeks to strengthen economic integration of the region. Expanding current markets and opening new ones will promote growth and increase jobs as export flows increase. The U.S. will work with its APEC partners to promote balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth, and away from destabilizing booms and busts. This will require nations like the U.S. that currently have consumer-driven economies to promote more savings and investment.
The APEC meeting will provide a forum for Asian and Pacific leaders to coordinate economic and financial policies to promote balanced global demand and head off threats to a global economic recovery.