On Saturday in Singapore, I spoke to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit on behalf of President Obama. In my remarks to this gathering of more than 800 business leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region, I spoke of the robust and beneficial trade relationships that the United States enjoys with our 20 fellow APEC members – 61 percent of total American manufacturing exports are destined for APEC economies, and roughly 3.7 million American jobs are supported by those exports – and about the potential to gain even more job-creating opportunities for American workers, families, and businesses by increasing engagement with and exports to our partners in this fast-growing region.
I talked about the progress made at this week’s APEC ministerial meeting on increasing services trade within APEC, promoting trade in cutting-edge environmental goods and services, and making it easier for businesses and entrepreneurs across the Asia-Pacific to take advantage of market opportunities.
I echoed the President’s call for the United States and its trading partners to work toward economic growth that is both balanced and sustainable. And I spoke of the opportunities presented to American workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers by the United States’ engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, announced by President Obama on Saturday morning.
Engagement in the Asia-Pacific region is vital to America’s trading future. If we want to create the jobs Americans need, we must gain further access to Asia-Pacific markets. As I told hundreds of business leaders in Singapore on Saturday, we must work together to bring home the benefits of trade.
Ron Kirk is the United States Trade Representative