From Detroit to San Francisco, Ambassador Katherine Tai and USTR officials have worked diligently to advance U.S. priorities throughout the 2023 U.S. APEC host year.
APEC is a voluntary, non-binding and consensus-building economic forum of 21 member economies from across the Asia-Pacific, with the goal to create an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful regional community by 2040. With its scale, ambition, and multi-stakeholder engagement, APEC has served as an incubator of unique and effective policy ideas throughout its history.
At a time of unpredictable global changes and shocks, the Biden-Harris Administration is prioritizing resilience and sustainability in our economic, trade, and investment policies. In doing so, we can better prepare our people, communities, and our economies for the next regional or global shock so that we can recover quicker and stronger than before.
Under President Biden’s leadership, we are taking a new approach to our trade policy -- one that puts workers and historically underrepresented communities at the center of our policymaking process, to ensure the benefits of trade reach all Americans.
Through its APEC host year, the United States has sought to “Create a Sustainable and Resilient Future for All.” Ambassador Tai hosted ministerial meetings in Detroit and San Francisco with her counterparts from across the Asia-Pacific to discuss trade and investment policies that will benefit APEC consumers, workers, families, and firms.
In support of that work, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has done critical work to advance trade and investment policies that incorporate (1) Inclusivity, (2) Sustainability, and (3) Resiliency.
Read the APEC 2023 Leaders’ Golden Gate Declaration here, and the accompanying Chair’s Statement on the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting here.
Read the APEC Ministerial Meeting Joint Ministerial Statement here. The United States also released a separate AMM chair statement that is available here.
Inclusivity: Efforts to advance inclusivity through our APEC host year include:
- Establishing APEC’s San Francisco Principles on Integrating Inclusivity and Sustainability into Trade and Investment Policy.
- Ensuring the benefits of trade and investment extend to all people, including women, underserved groups, and MSMEs, by supporting the engagement of stakeholders in the development of trade policies, and by understanding how trade agreements in the APEC region incorporate inclusionary elements as examples for other economies.
- Convening a first-of-its-kind ministerial-level dialogue with trade ministers and labor leaders on the impacts of trade on workers and their communities and how we can work together to build inclusive, durable policies that benefit all people.
- Convening the first-ever ministerial-level dialogue with representatives of Indigenous Peoples from the APEC region to better understand the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples on international trade.
- Supporting efforts to understand the impacts of trade policy on women, such as in the services, customs, intellectual property, and standards sectors, while noting the importance of representation in trade policymaking.
- Institutionalizing inclusive approaches to important business and government practices, through guidelines to Facilitating Access to Open Government Data.
- Emphasizing inclusive public consultation practices in the regulatory development process during the 16th Conference on Good Regulatory Practices.
- Promoting intellectual property as a means to achieve inclusive growth, particularly by providing diverse perspectives from independent creators, producers, and union workers on the importance of copyright protection and enforcement fostering a dialogue from SME producers and stakeholders on the economic benefits of preserving the use of common names.
Sustainability: Efforts to advance sustainability through our APEC host year include:
- Helping economies understand how to address climate change through technology, investment, and policymaking, including in the areas of green chemistry and sound chemicals management, compostable bioplastics, and standardization in climate-related technologies, including greenhouse gas emissions measurement.
- Advancing research for addressing climate change by exploring Battery Energy Storage Systems and Assisting Policymakers with Mitigation and Prevention of Plastics Pollution.
- Bringing together policymakers and individuals involved in the research, development, and commercialization of green technologies to underscore the importance of intellectual property protection and enforcement as essential tools to foster a green economy.
- Underscoring the importance of low-emission vehicles to enable a green economy.
- Expanding membership in the APEC Pathfinder on Facilitating Trade in Remanufactured Goods to 13 economies to bolster APEC members’ capacity for trade facilitation of remanufactured goods, promote material and energy savings in the production process, reduce solid waste, and continue new work on trade in remanufactured consumer electronics.
- Addressing the problem of marine debris by producing a set of non-binding guidelines on services that support the clean-up of marine debris and underscore the importance of services trade policy.
- Facilitating services trade policy engagement on environmental issues that fall outside the traditional classification of the environmental services sector by expanding the APEC Reference List of Environmental and Environmentally Related Services.
Resilience: Efforts to support resilience through our APEC host year include:
- Fostering an enabling business environment through a new Good Regulatory Practices Blueprint which will promote greater compatibility of regulatory practices across APEC economies.
- Securing agreement to continue APEC’s critical work on regulatory cooperation and convergence in efforts to ensure access to safe, effective, and quality-assured medical products.
- Enhancing logistics resilience by developing a set of guidelines on logistics-related services that support the movement of essential goods in periods of future crisis.
- Advancing services data and analysis tools through the development of the APEC Index to measure the regulatory environment of services trade.
- Holding a range of workshops highlighting the critical role of services trade for enhancing resilience in services trade, including on manufacturing-related services, envisioning the next generation of technical standards principles for services, logistics-related services, and structural reform.
- Supporting professional services mutual recognition activities by developing an MRA Toolkit as a practical resource for anyone engaged in the development and implementation of MRAs.
- Fostering innovative approaches to ongoing supply chain challenges by bringing together regional stakeholders to discuss best practices potential solutions.
- Working to resolve inefficient digitalization of end-to-end supply chains, including border procedures and trade documentation exchanges.
- Supporting the development of principles for the adoption of electronic invoicing systems that support cross-border interoperability.
- Strengthening understanding of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement to facilitate trade and reduce barriers.
- Developing a better understanding of the impact of new technologies, such as new battery systems, and how they affect standards.
- Promoting an enabling environment for the digital economy by leading and advancing public-private dialogues on digital trade, including through the inaugural APEC Digital Month in August in Seattle, which convened hundreds of public and private sector experts in more than 40 meetings.