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Deputy USTR Jeffrey Gerrish Statement on APEC Trade Ministers Meeting

May 26, 2018

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish attended the 24th Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), hosted by Papua New Guinea on May 25-26, 2018. 

At the APEC MRT meeting, Ambassador Gerrish underscored the United States’ commitment to promoting free, fair, and reciprocal trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the United States is fully engaged in strengthening our bilateral trade relationships throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” said Ambassador Gerrish.  “We are committed to working with APEC economies to drive positive outcomes that meaningfully open markets, advance high standards, and address trade distorting policies and practices.”

Through participation in APEC, the United States advances key trade issues such as the promotion of digital trade, improvement of services market access and competiveness, and implementation of other measures that facilitate trade.  The United States also works with APEC partners to address barriers to U.S. exports to the region.  By raising standards in the Asia-Pacific, the United States seeks to ensure that trade is truly free and fair. 

On the margins of the MRT meetings, Ambassador Gerrish met with many trade ministers of APEC member economies.


The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier economic forum in the Asia Pacific region.  The United States is a founding member of APEC, which consists of 21 member economies.

U.S. goods and services trade with APEC economies totaled $2.8 trillion in 2016 (latest data available).  The U.S. goods trade deficit, however, with APEC countries was $620.3 billion in 2017.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. goods exports to APEC countries supported an estimated 4.2 million jobs in 2015 (latest data available).

APEC provides an opportunity for the United States to address this trade deficit by engaging trade partners to expand market access for U.S. exports and address unfair trade practices.