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APEC trade partners must reduce barriers to trade

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
November 14, 2011

One priority goal the United States has pursued this year is to make the Asia-Pacific a seamless regional economy. Just how close this nation will come to achieving that will be made clear at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and Economic Leaders’ Meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii this week.

The U.S. is asking its APEC trade partners to reduce barriers to trade for environmental goods and services, promote innovation policies that encourage competition and open markets, and improve their regulatory systems. Value-added improvements in these areas will make it easier for American businesses to export to the Asia-Pacific region, supporting the creation of much-needed American jobs. 

Just how receptive another global power will be to these suggestions remains in doubt, however. China is doing just fine without such an arrangement, and may view the expansion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as unnecessary at best…a threat to its national security at worst.

For a variety of reasons, this is unfortunate.

In considering trade in the 21st-century, TPP parties are discussing comprehensive issues like building regional production, promoting development, and facilitating the participation of small- and medium-sized businesses in global trade. By eliminating traditional barriers that prevent smaller businesses from entering the world marketplace, we are opening pathways for these enterprises to expand and grow through trade.

By making it easier for all our exporters to enter markets in APEC economies, we are helping businesses grow exponentially. This dynamic growth leads to further job creation across the region, including in the U.S. – an important component to President Obama’s economic policy.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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