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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid