During Wednesday's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings in Singapore, Ambassador Kirk participated in two major discussions of the Doha round of world trade negotiations and the potential role of APEC members in moving those talks forward.
At both a ministerial breakfast and a formal plenary meeting on strengthening the multilateral trading system, Ambassador Kirk underscored the United States' commitment to a Doha success, and the need for all members to exert leadership - particularly for developed and advanced developing economies to make the market-opening contributions needed to ensure a balanced and ambitious conclusion to the round, with meaningful economic opportunities for all involved.
Ambassador Kirk highlighted America's role in the last several months, including the steering of the negotiating process toward inclusion of sustained direct bilateral engagement among key partners to supplement and provide new momentum to the broader-based multilateral process.
In addition to formal APEC sessions, Ambassador Kirk continued his series of bilateral meetings with key APEC partners.
Ambassador Kirk met with Korean Minister for Trade Kim Jong-Hoon, updating Minister Kim on the status of the U.S. review of its pending free trade agreement with Korea. The two also discussed President Obama's upcoming visit to Korea, and affirmed the importance of close cooperation between our two countries on World Trade Organization and APEC issues.
Ambassador Kirk and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Masayuki Naoshima held their first bilateral meeting since the election of the new Japanese government. The two discussed a wide range of issues, and agreed on the need for the United States and Japan to cooperate on the Doha Round, APEC-related issues, and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations.