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USTR Names Big Sky, Montana Site Of 2011 APEC Trade Ministerial

Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministerial will be held in Big Sky, Montana during the week of May 23, 2011. The APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting ("MRT") is held annually by the APEC host economy for that year, in order to advance APEC's trade and investment and regional economic integration agenda, and provide support for the multilateral trading system. The United States views hosting APEC in 2011, including the trade ministers' meeting, as a unique opportunity to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to address issues related to U.S. objectives to grow jobs, expand exports, and stimulate the trade-driven growth of small- and medium-sized businesses.

"The American West has always been a place of limitless possibility. Bringing the APEC Trade Ministers to Montana will broaden our horizons both literally and figuratively, giving our partners a fresh perspective on the diverse places from which America's entrepreneurs and exports can spring," said Ambassador Kirk. "As we welcome our 20 APEC partners, USTR will seek to further the President's goal of supporting jobs through exports, while increasing cooperation and economic integration across the Asia-Pacific. USTR extends its deep appreciation to the Big Sky community and to Montana's leaders for opening their doors to the world in 2011."

USTR will work with the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce, the National Center for APEC, and other partners to plan the meeting.

The United States first proposed the idea of an APEC meeting specifically for Trade Ministers during our 1993 host year, to develop a more robust trade agenda in APEC that would support the multilateral trading system. The first APEC trade ministers' meeting was held in October 1994 in Indonesia, and regular meetings began in 1996. Since then, the trade ministers' meeting has become a cornerstone of APEC's annual agenda. In addition to providing a forum for in-depth discussion on WTO negotiations, the Trade Ministers' meeting also plays a key role in APEC's work to break down barriers to trade and investment, and strengthen economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. This year's APEC MRT will be held in Sapporo, Japan on June 5-6, 2010. Ambassador Kirk is looking forward to working closely with his Japanese colleagues to ensure that the meeting will be a success.