Weekly Trade Spotlight: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

apecIn the last decade, the Asia-Pacific Region has been home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. In the coming years, increased trade opportunities between the United States and Asia will become increasingly important to continued economic growth, and to the creation of more jobs here at home. This week’s trade spotlight highlights the importance of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which is comprised of Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; The United States; and Viet Nam.

This week Ambassadors Kirk, Marantis, and Punke are attending the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Kazan, Russia. The meetings, held June 4-5, are attended by all trade ministers who represent the 21 “member economies” of APEC. Topics of discussion include:

• Trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration

• Strengthening food security,

• Establishing reliable supply chains, and

• Intensive cooperation to foster innovative growth.

Established in 1989, APEC member economies now comprise 41% of the global population, 54% of total GDP and 44% of the world’s trade. APEC is especially important to U.S. exporters, with nine of the top 15 U.S. export markets for goods being APEC member economies. In 2010, almost 60% of U.S. exports went to APEC countries, and U.S. goods exports totaled $774 billion, a 25% increase from 2009. The top exports categories to APEC member economies in 2010 were machinery, electrical machinery, vehicles, mineral fuel and medical instruments. Additionally, APEC member economies are large export markets for U.S. agricultural products, with agricultural exports totaling almost $84 billion in 2010.

Because of this important trade relationship, American workers across the country are benefiting. The continued growth of APEC member economies provides an opportunity for increased consumption of American-made goods and services by consumers throughout APEC member economies. Through new initiatives, such as the ambitious 21st century Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, USTR is working to improve and grow the United States’ relationship with APEC member economies in an effort to help create new investment and export opportunities for American businesses and more jobs for workers here at home.

This week’s meeting will further the dynamic partnership of APEC, and aid in its continued success as a leader of the 21st century where significant and meaningful achievements are made to further liberalize trade and investment in the region for American workers.