On the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Center for APEC, and US–ASEAN Business Council joined together to issue the below statement:
“The Asia-Pacific is a strategically important region to the United States for both national security and economic reasons. It remains the world’s most dynamic and important region economically, as it is home to the world’s first, second, and third largest economies and three of the world’s four largest populations. Notably, the top four export markets for American made goods and services are in APEC. In short, the APEC region’s size, strong economic growth, and growing consumer base make it a priority for US international economic policy to support American exporters. U.S. economic growth and jobs depend on our ability to compete in APEC.
“We are thus encouraged by President Trump’s extended trip, as it demonstrates the continuing US commitment to this critical region. The President’s trip is a fitting capstone to those made to the region throughout the year by Vice President Pence, Secretaries Mattis, Ross, Tillerson, and Ambassador Lighthizer. It also provides continuity given the participation by the previous four US presidents in this forum.
“APEC is more important than ever. This year’s large US business delegation – which includes 75 companies and more than 200 representatives – demonstrates the strong commitment by US companies to the region and to APEC. US companies continue to view APEC as a valuable regional institution that uniquely engages public and private sector leaders from across the Asia-Pacific.
“Specifically, APEC can serve as a platform to address a range of issues that affect small, medium, and large US companies, and it has proven to be an essential and effective forum for building consensus on issues that affect US growth, exports, and jobs in our most competitive industries.
“Going forward, we urge the United States to use APEC creatively and ambitiously to address real issues and barriers facing US companies in this region. APEC can be used to advance strong rules and high standards for the digital economy and digital trade, as exemplified by APEC’s work to develop and implement the Cross-Border Privacy Rules that are helping to promote commerce across the region. Additionally, APEC’s trade facilitation work stream has helped reduce trade transaction costs and facilitate stronger American exports. The concrete progress in these and other areas underscores APEC’s work in the region and its valuable role in supporting US business globally.”