News / Americas

Obama Closes APEC, Cites Progress Toward 'Seamless' Economic Zone

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at his news conference at the conclusion of the APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 13, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at his news conference at the conclusion of the APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 13, 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama has closed the summit in his home state of Hawaii of the 21 member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group.  APEC agreed on steps aimed at boosting growth and simplifying trade. Mr. Obama also discussed bilateral issues with China and Iran's controversial nuclear program.

A U.S. statement said leaders agreed on a comprehensive set of measures designed to increase growth, create jobs and expand trade and investment in a region representing more than half of the world's economic output and 44 percent of world trade.

APEC commits to enhance market-driven innovation policies, reduce or eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade in environmental goods and services, and take steps to help businesses through regulatory reforms.

Related video report by Mike O'Sullivan

President Obama again drew a link between the U.S. economic recovery and the Pacific, saying the region is the key to America's future.

"Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers are beyond our borders.  I want them to be buying goods with three word stamped on them:  Made in America.  So I have been doing everything I can to make sure that the U.S. is competing aggressively for the jobs and the markets of the future," Mr. Obama said.

Other decisions include steps to ease travel, reduce tariffs on so-called environmental goods and services, encourage so-called "green" jobs, and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

With China objecting, the United States and eight other APEC economies committed in Honolulu to finalize a new free trade zone called the Trans-Pacific Partnership by next year. 

The summit came amid ongoing global anxiety about Europe's ability to resolve the debt crisis affecting such nations as Greece and Italy.

Mr. Obama said the ultimate goal for APEC is to create a "seamless regional economy," saying the U.S. needs to be an aggressive competitor in the region. "If we are not playing out here in the world's largest regional economy and the world's fastest ((growing)) regional economy, if we have abandoned the field and we are not engaged, American businesses will lose out and those jobs won't be in the United States of America," he said.

Mr. Obama again called on China to change policies he said disadvantage the U.S. and other trading partners, allow further appreciation of its currency and move toward a more domestic demand-oriented economy.  

He also faced questions about the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that provided evidence of secret Iranian nuclear weapons development efforts.

The U.S., China and Russia, Mr. Obama said, are united on this major objective.

"All three of us entirely agree on the objective, which is making sure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power and that we don't trigger a nuclear arms race in the region.  That is in the interests of all of us," Obama said.

Mr. Obama said they will be consulting closely in coming weeks on other "available options" building on existing sanctions.  He said the U.S. takes no options off the table but will pursue "every avenue" for a negotiated solution.

The president also used the news conference to urge Democrats and Republicans on a special U.S. deficit committee to "move off rigid positions" and reach an agreement by November 23rd on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions.

He said he hopes they will "do what needs to be done," adding he is prepared to sign balanced fair legislation that spreads sacrifice, including asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a bit more to help address U.S. deficit problems.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Vazquez Is Favorite to Win Uruguay Presidential Vote

Leftist ruling party candidate buoyed by widespread affection for country's outgoing leader, strong economic growth
More

Brazil's Rousseff Struggles to Limit Petrobras Scandal's Damage

President expects bribery scandal at state-run oil company to deteriorate in coming months, aides say, with arrests possible for some political allies
More

Mexico, Central America Hail Obama's Immigration Reform

Mexican leader calls US president's proposals 'most important measures taken in several decades'
More

Torturers of Chilean President's Father Sentenced to Jail

Judge sentences 2 retired colonels to prison for committing 'crime of torture resulting in the death' of Alberto Bachelet Martinez during early days of Pinochet dictatorship
More

NYC Immigrant Advocates Praise Obama Move, Vow to Continue Fight

Threatened refusal by Republican congressional leaders to cooperate will backfire politically, attorney insists
More

Obama's Immigration Action: What It All Means

Attorney Camille Mackler is director of legal initiatives at advocacy group New York Immigration Coalition, and she discusses specifics of the action
More