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Empowering U.S. Companies to Compete Abroad

Secretary Locke and Ambassador Kirk discuss their discussions in Asia which aim to strengthen our economic relationships, further open Asian markets to American exports and create well-paid jobs at home.

It's been over a week since we first arrived in Asia. First, we traveled to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Singapore, and now we have joined President Obama in Beijing, China. We have come to this important region to engage our counterparts to strengthen our economic relationships, further open Asian markets to American exports and create well-paid jobs at home.

The 21 countries that make up APEC account for some 61 percent of American exports, and traveling today through the streets of Beijing, it's not hard to see why.

There's a frenetic pace in Asia's big cities, with construction cranes an ever present part of the cities' skylines.

This growth is good news for the people of Asia who have found exciting new opportunities in these cities. But it's also promising news for the workers, small businesspeople, ranchers and farmers of the United States, because selling our goods and services to these markets can put scores of Americans back to work and get our economy growing again.

And that is fundamentally why we are here this week. We're trying to open up markets for American products and ensure that our businesses are able to compete on a level playing field in the global economy.

During our time in Asia, we've been meeting with various ministers from Asian governments as well as representatives of the American business community like the U.S.-China Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

We are also taking the opportunity on this trip to talk about recent trade disputes and how such disputes are ultimately a healthy part of a mature trading relationship.

The United States is the most open major economy in the world and the Administration is committed to ensuring our borders will remain open to the world’s products.

But that commitment will be met by a renewed focus on doing more to enable U.S. companies to compete in foreign markets.

Ultimately, that will be good for everyone. U.S. technology and know-how can be of great benefit to countries throughout Asia. For example, as countries like China strive to reach ambitious clean energy and efficiency targets, they will depend on expertise of U.S. firms with a proven record of success in these areas.

This year, we have already made great progress in creating a freer, fairer trade environment with Asia. When we were in China a few weeks ago, our Chinese ministerial counterparts pledged to open up their markets to U.S. wind turbine producers and lifted a needless non-science based ban on the import of U.S. pork.

They also promised significant strides towards protecting the intellectual property of American companies operating within their borders and steps to ensure a more level playing field in China’s government procurement market.

These are important steps that will be good both for the creation of America jobs and the continuance of Chinese growth. And we are seeking to build on the positive momentum this week.

As President Obama recently said "power in the 21st century is no longer a zero-sum game; one country's success need not come at the expense of another."

There is a lot to be gained from cooperation between Asia and the United States, and we are excited to be playing our part to move things forward.