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America Needs to Look 'Outward' for APEC 2011

NEW YORK, November 31, 2010 - Kurt Tong and Monica Whaley review the issues raised in the 2010 APEC Summit in Yokohama, and discuss agenda for APEC 2011.
by Anne Kirkup
30 November 2010

YORK, November 30, 2010 – The US must resist growing protectionist sentiment at
home and pursue fair and open trade with Asia when it hosts the 2011 APEC
Summit in Honolulu, according to US Senior Official for APEC, Kurt Tong.

sentiment in the United States is experiencing somewhat of an upswing,” Tong
said, “[We need] to turn the national psyche back in the direction of
confidence and looking outward rather than trying to circle the wagons.”

In conversation with Monica Whaley,
President of the National Center for APEC, Tong emphasized that as the host of
the 2011 APEC Summit, the US had the opportunity to educate the public about
the important interrelationships between the American economy and those of the
Asia Pacific region. “[Americans’] future livelihood is tied to the degree in
which we are successful in tying our economy to more rapidly growing parts of
the global economy,” Tong said. “If we have deeper economic relations with a
rapidly growing region, then we’re going to grow faster. We’re going to get more
jobs and higher incomes in the United States.” 

Tong said that the central US vision
for APEC was to build a “platform for economic activity” in the Asia-Pacific region
without trying to design or guide such activity. “That platform should be open,
free, transparent, and fair,” Tong explained. “Open in the sense that the
platform is open to all participants from all over the world; free in the sense
that there are as few barriers as possible to trade, investment, and economic
activity; transparent in the sense that the rules for that activity are as
clear as possible; and fair in the sense that the rules are not tilted in the
direction of any particular set of players.”

noted that the US vision for APEC enjoyed wide support in the
Asia-Pacific region. “What is encouraging as you go to APEC meetings and as
you talk to our counterparts around the region is that this is increasingly a
shared vision. I sit down with counterparts from China, from Southeast Asian
countries—just about [everyone] except North Korea shares this same vision of
how the region should develop.”

was the tenth post-APEC briefing hosted by Asia Society.

Reported by Ben Linden