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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid