News / Asia

US Officials See Trade Progress, Share Global Concerns at APEC

(front row) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk (2nd R) pose with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (2nd L) and Russian Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina (L) during the APEC Ministerial
(front row) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk (2nd R) pose with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (2nd L) and Russian Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina (L) during the APEC Ministerial

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk says talks by Asia Pacific trade ministers, who have been meeting this week in Hawaii, have been productive.  On Saturday and Sunday, the leaders of the 21 economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will be featured. The exchanges have focused on trade, and senior officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have also discussed strategic and human rights issues.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk says he expects that APEC leaders will be able to announce the broad outlines of a Trans-Pacific Partnership when they meet over the weekend.  He says the initiative could lead to a free-trade zone in the Asia Pacific region. The nine nations involved in the talks so far include the United States, Australia, Chile, Singapore, Vietnam and several other APEC members.  

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday his nation wants to join the dialogue.  Trade official Kirk said in a written statement that the United States welcomes the move, but he cautioned that Japan must be ready to address barriers in agriculture, services and manufacturing.

He said APEC offers a forum for ambitious initiatives like this one.

“APEC has traditionally been a laboratory for some of the best and newest ideas in global commerce," he said. "And we believe the outcome of this year's meeting will help keep APEC's agenda on the cutting edge for the next 20 years.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also spoke with her counterparts at the conference about global concerns, holding talks with senior officials from China, Japan, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and leading discussions with other APEC members.  

She noted that a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency raised serious questions about weapons-related work that Iran has undertaken as part of its nuclear program.  Iran has rejected the report's findings as politically motivated.

Clinton also repeated concerns about what she called the escalating violence by the Syrian government against its people.

On issues closer to home for these Asia Pacific nations, the U.S. secretary of state said North Korea poses a security threat to its neighbors while it disregards the rights of its citizens.  She noted that the United States held exploratory talks with North Korea two weeks ago, hoping to restart negotiations stalled in 2009.

“We made clear what we expect North Korea to do in order to get back to talks, including concrete steps toward denuclearization,” she said.

She said senior American officials have also visited Burma and reported on positive steps by the country's new government, including talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, enactment of a new labor law and changes to the law on political party registration.

“It appears that there are real changes taking place on the ground, and we support these early efforts at reform," Clinton said. "We want to see the people of Burma able to participate fully in the political life of their own country.”

She said remaining problems in Burma include the detention of political prisoners, human rights abuses and violence in ethnic minority areas.

APEC talks will continue through Sunday, as APEC government leaders tackle trade and other issues, including the global financial crisis.  U.S. President Barack Obama will host the leaders' summit Sunday and hold bilateral talks with the presidents of Russia and China and the prime minister of Japan.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
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 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.

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