News / USA

Obama: Asia-Pacific Region Critical to US Economic Recovery

U.S. President Barack Obama looks over his shoulder was he arrives for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit leaders plenary session in Kapolei, Hawaii on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama looks over his shoulder was he arrives for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit leaders plenary session in Kapolei, Hawaii on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011.

In the Pacific state of Hawaii, U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday told leaders of the 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation economies that the region will be key to U.S. economic recovery.  

With much of the formal summit activity, including a working lunch, concentrated over a few hours, Mr. Obama underscored the importance of APEC's trade liberalization priorities for the global economy and the United States.

Addressing the opening session, the president said the nearly three billion people in 21 APEC countries are looking to the three-decade-old organization to create opportunities through expanded trade that will boost economic growth and create jobs.

APEC's goals of slashing tariffs and removing trade barriers, Mr. Obama said, are critical for the U.S. economic recovery. "The Asia-Pacific region is absolutely critical to America's economic growth.  We consider it a top priority.  And we consider it a top priority because we are not going to be able to put our folks back to work and grow our economy and expand opportunity, unless the Asia-Pacific region is also successful," he said.

Mr. Obama said the region is key to his objective of doubling U.S. exports, adding that APEC economies need to work together to spur "quicker, sturdy and sustainable" economic growth.

A final APEC statement is expected to point to progress toward creating what Mr. Obama referred to as a "seamless regional economy," with agreements aimed at boosting trade and investment by promoting "green" jobs, innovation, and streamlining and coordinating regulations.

The United States and eight other APEC nations already have announced agreement on "broad outlines" to create a new Trans-Pacific Partnership trade group, or TPP, that Mr. Obama says would be a model for broader open regional trade.

In addition to the United States, other TPP participants include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. China has been critical of the grouping, saying it reflects protectionist tendencies in APEC.

U.S. officials say Mr. Obama was expected to hold additional talks on the sidelines of the summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao.  In their main meeting on Saturday, the two men discussed trade and differences over China's currency policies.

The issue of Iran's nuclear program and a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report that provided evidence of secret Iranian weapons development efforts have also been a focus of Mr. Obama's meetings with the leaders of China and Russia.

U.S. officials say China and Russia remain supportive of continuing diplomatic steps aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability.

Mr. Obama says that he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to work to "shape a common response" on Iran against the backdrop of the nuclear report.  U.S. officials say consultations will continue about the next steps to increase pressure on Tehran.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More