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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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 Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid