Remarks by President Obama at APEC CEO Business Summit Q & A

MR. McNERNEY:  Mr. President, few forums are watched more closely by those of us in the business community than APEC — testimony to the extraordinary opportunity it represents for both sides of the Pacific Rim.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

As you know, APEC accounts for 55 percent of global GDP and is growing faster than the global average — significantly faster.  It represents 2.7 billion consumers, and purchases 58 percent of U.S. exports.  So I’m honored, very honored, to represent many of the wide-ranging interests of the business community on stage with you today.

Unlocking the growth potential that exists within APEC is a huge opportunity for job creation here in the United States and for our economic partners.  Secretary Clinton spoke about that yesterday within the context of greater engagement of women and small business, for example.  (Applause.)

Given that you represent — and I’m working my way up to a question here.  Given that you represent the largest economy in the group, your views on subjects pertinent to that growth potential are vital, and that’s what I’d like to explore with you here this morning.

Just to start at 50,000 feet, you just participated in the G20 meeting last week, where global growth was a — and threats thereof was a central topic of discussion.  With the benefit of the viewpoints exchanged at the G20 session, what now is your outlook for the global economy, and maybe with just an eye toward its impact on the APEC economies?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, first of all, Jim, thank you for having me here.  Thanks to all the business leaders who are participating.  I understand that there have been some terrific conversations over the last couple of days.

I want to thank our Hawaiian hosts for the great hospitality.  (Applause.)  As many of you know, this is my birthplace.  I know that was contested for a while — (laughter and applause) — but I can actually show you the hospital if you want to go down there.  (Laughter.)  And I also have to make mention, first of all, that in all my years of living in Hawaii and visiting Hawaii, this is the first time that I’ve ever worn a suit.  (Laughter.)  So it feels a little odd.

Obviously we have just gone through the worst financial crisis and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.  And one of the differences between now and the ‘30s is that the global economy is more integrated than ever, and so what happens in Asia has an impact here in the United States; what happens in Europe has an impact on Asia and the United States.

At the G20 meeting, our most immediate task was looking at what’s happening in the eurozone.  And if you trace what’s happened over the last two to three years, we were able to stabilize the world economy after the crisis with Lehman’s and get the world financial system working again.  We were able to get the economy growing again.  But it has not been growing as robustly as it needs to in order to put people back to work.  And my number-one priority has been to not only grow the economy but also make sure that that translates into opportunities for ordinary people.  And I think leaders from around the world are thinking the same way.

I was pleased to see that European leaders were taking seriously the need to not just solve the Greek crisis, but also to solve the broader eurozone crisis.  There have been some positive developments over the last week:  a new potential government in Italy, a new government in Greece — both committed to applying the sort internal structural reform that can give markets more confidence.

There is still work to be done in the broader European community, to provide markets a strong assurance that countries like Italy will be able to finance their debt.  These are economies that are large.  They are economies that are strong.  But they have some issues that the markets are concerned about.  And that has to be addressed inside of Italy, but it’s not going to be addressed overnight.  So it’s important that Europe as a whole stands behind its eurozone members.  And we have tried to be as supportive as we can, providing them some advice and technical assistance.

I think that we’re not going to see massive growth out of Europe until the problem is resolved.  And that will have a dampening effect on the overall global economy.  But if we can at least contain the crisis, then one of the great opportunities we have is to see the Asia Pacific region as an extraordinary engine for growth.

And part of the reason that we’re here at APEC is to concentrate on what you just identified as about half of the world’s trade, half of the world’s GDP, and a growing share.  And so the whole goal of APEC is to ensure that we are reducing barriers to trade and investment that can translate into concrete jobs here in the United States and all around the world.

If we’re going to grow it’s going to be because of exports; it’s going to be because of the great work that companies like Boeing is doing; it’s going to be because we’ve got high standard trade agreements that are creating win-win situations for countries, the way we were able to do bilaterally with South Korea just recently.  And if we can stay on that trajectory, letting this region of the world know that America is a Pacific power and we intend to be here, actively engaged in trying to boost the economy worldwide and for our respective countries, then I am cautiously optimistic that we’ll get through this current crisis and will come out stronger over the next couple of years.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

MR. McNERNEY:  Fixing Europe obviously a priority, but the growth is here for now.  Although as I’ve traveled around the Asia Pacific region, I and others have detected a slight sense of unease and uncertainty among government and business leaders around whether the U.S. intends to maintain its role in helping to ensure the political, economic stability of this region, other forms of stability, including the free flow of communication and commerce.  I do know that Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary Panetta recently delivered some very reassuring remarks, which I’m sure didn’t happen by accident.  But I think your view on that, on this subject, is of great interest not only to the business community but to the community at large here in the region.

And so, how does Asia fit as a priority for our country?  And where is its place — in a multifaceted way, not just business — in the Asia Pacific region?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  The United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay.  And one of the messages that Secretary Clinton, Secretary Panetta have been delivering, but I am personally here to deliver over the next week, is that there’s no region in the world that we consider more vital than the Asia Pacific region, and we want, on a whole range of issues, to be working with our partner countries around the Pacific Rim in order to enhance job growth, economic growth, prosperity and security for all of us.

And let me just give you a couple of examples.  The APEC conference that we’re hosting here is going to have some very concrete deliverables around issues like regulatory convergence, which permits countries to all think about whether our regulations are as efficient, as effective as they can be, or where are they standing in the way of smart trade.

I’ll be traveling to Australia to celebrate the 60th year of the American-Australian alliance, and that will signify the security infrastructure that allows for the free flow of trade and commerce throughout the region.

The TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that I just met with the countries who are involved, we’re doing some outstanding work trying to create a high-level trade agreement that could potentially be a model not just for countries in the Pacific region but for the world generally.

And so, across the board, whether it’s on security architecture, whether it’s on trade, whether it’s on commerce, we are going to continue to prioritize this region.  And one of the gratifying things is that, as we talk to our partners in the region, they welcome U.S. reengagement.  I think we spent a decade in which, understandably, after 9/11, we were very focused on security issues, particularly in the Middle East region.  And those continue to be important.  But we’ve turned our attention back to the Asia Pacific region, and I think that it’s paying off immediately in a whole range of improved relations with countries, and businesses are starting to see more opportunities as a consequence.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

MR. McNERNEY:  You know, I don’t think the business community has fully understood the comprehensiveness of your approach out here, and I think — because it all does link together — security, business environment, bilateral trade facilitation — all these things really do link together.  And I think Secretary Clinton has made a very comprehensive case for it — we’ve seen in some of her published work and some of her speeches.  So this looks like –I wouldn’t say a major new direction, but it is something that is a major priority for you over the next number of years, is — am I capturing it right?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  There’s no doubt.  It is a reaffirmation of how important we consider this region.  It has a range of components.  Now, some of those are grounded in decade-long alliances.  The alliance we have with Japan and South Korea, the alliance we have with Australia — the security architecture of the region is something that we pay a lot of attention to.  And we’re going to be going through some tough fiscal decisions back home, but nevertheless, what I’ve said when it comes to prioritizing our security posture here in this region, this has to continue to remain a top priority.

And on the business side, this is where the action is going to be.  If we’re going to not just double our exports but make sure that good jobs are created here in the United States, then we’re going to have to continue to expand our trade opportunities and economic integration with the fastest-growing region in the world.

And that means, in some cases, some hard negotiations and some tough work, as we went through in South Korea.  I think that was a great model of prioritizing trade with a key partner.  It wasn’t easy.  I said at the outset that I wanted — I had no problem seeing Hyundais and Kias here in the United States, but I wanted to see some Chevrolets and Fords in Seoul.  And after a lot of work and some dedicated attention from President Lee, we were able to get a deal that for the first time was endorsed not just by the business community but also was endorsed by the United Auto Workers and a number of labor leaders.  And that shows how we can build a bipartisan support for job creation in the United States and trade agreements that make sense.  (Applause.)

MR. McNERNEY:  You referenced Korea and Colombia, Panama — big, strong, pro-trade votes.  I mean, it was a major legislative accomplishment.  And the momentum that Ambassador Kirk talks about flowing into the Trans-Pacific Partnership — just let’s spend a minute on that.  You raised it earlier.  Do you see other APEC countries joining — the obvious question is Japan?  And how significant is the TPP for this region of the world and for the United States?  Is there anything else you’d like to say about it?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, keep in mind that almost two decades ago when APEC was formed, the notion was to create a trans-Pacific free trade agreement.  Obviously the membership of APEC is extraordinarily diverse.  It reflects countries with different levels of development.  And so for many years that vision, that dream I think seemed very far off in the distance.

What happened was, is a group, a subset of APEC countries came together and said let’s see if we can create a high-standard agreement that is dealing with tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, but let’s also incorporate a whole range of new trade issues that are going to be coming up in the future — innovation, regulatory convergence, how we’re thinking about the Internet and intellectual property.

And so what we’ve seen — and we just came from a meeting in which the TPP members affirmed a basic outline and our goal is, by next year, to get the legal text for a full agreement.  The idea here is to have a trade agreement that deals not just with past issues but also future issues.  And if we’re successful, then I think it becomes the seed of a broader set of agreements. And what’s been really interesting is how, because of the success of these first few countries joining together, we’re now seeing others like Japan expressing an interest in joining.  And I’ll have a meeting with Prime Minister Noda later this afternoon and I’ll get a sense from him about the degree to which Japan wants to go through the difficult process involved.

And I don’t underestimate the difficulties of this because each member country has particular sensitivities, political barriers.  It requires adjustments within these countries where certain industries or certain producers may push back.  For Japan, for example, in the agricultural sector, that’s going to be a tough issue for them.

But we’re not going to delay.  Our goal is to try to get something done by next year.  And our hope is, is that if we can model this kind of outstanding trade agreement, then, potentially, you see a lot of others joining in.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

MR. McNERNEY:  Sounds like real momentum.


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Joint Statement: APEC Ministers Agree on Enhanced Trade, Green Growth, Regulatory reform

APEC Ministers today committed to concrete actions to strengthen economic integration and expand trade, promote green growth and advance regulatory convergence and cooperation to achieve economic growth in the region.

At the end of their annual meeting, chaired this year by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, APEC Ministers released a joint statement outlining specific initiatives to advance the three priority areas.

“Global trends and world events have given us a full and formidable agenda, and the stakes are high for all of us.” said Secretary Clinton in her opening remarks.

“We are each trying to generate balanced, inclusive, sustainable growth that delivers good jobs for our citizens; economic, social, and environmental progress for our nations; and shared prosperity for this region.”

In their joint statement, Foreign and Trade Ministers agreed to actions on integration and trade, including by addressing next-generation trade and investment issues that a future Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific should contain.

“APEC has traditionally been a laboratory for some of the best and newest ideas in global commerce.  We believe the outcomes of this year will keep APEC’s agenda on the cutting edge for the next 20 years.  We want to ensure that new regional agreements anticipate and address 21st century issues relevant to business in the region,” said Ambassador Kirk.

“We also have successfully addressed challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face when doing business in the region,” said Ambassador Kirk when he discussed the outcomes of the APEC Ministerial Meeting at a joint press conference today.

Trade Ministers also discussed the Doha Development Agenda and released a standalone statement emphasizing “our collective deep concern regarding the impasse that now clearly confronts” the agenda and the reality that a conclusion of all elements is unlikely in the near future.

They committed to approaching the World Trade Organization trade negotiations “with a view to fresh thinking and a determination to begin exploring different, innovative and credible approaches.”

Ministers also reaffirmed and extended their commitment through 2015 to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO-inconsistent measures in all areas.

APEC Ministers acknowledged the uncertain global trading environment, including signs of increased protectionist measures, which continue to be a matter of serious concern.

Other areas targeted for action include: improving supply chain performance by establishing de minimus values that exempt shipments from customs duties; promoting trade and investment in environmental goods and services; and strengthening good regulatory practices by ensuring internal coordination of rule-making, assessing the impact of regulations, and conducting public consultations in APEC economies.

Secretary Clinton also hosted a High-Level Policy Dialogue with Ministers, senior officials and business leaders on reducing disaster risk and strengthening economic resiliency, in the wake of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, floods in Thailand and other recent natural disasters in the region.

Ministers issued a standalone statement calling on officials to work towards improving disaster resiliency, including by working with businesses to develop specific tools to help them prepare for natural disasters.

Secretary Clinton hosted a second High-Level Policy Dialogue on open governance, which, along with transparency, is critical to economic competitiveness, leading to sustainable economic growth.

“We share the belief that markets, trade, and investment are vital to our prosperity,” Secretary Clinton said. “So today, I look forward to hearing from everyone about ways we can continue to build an enduring regional economic architecture that is open, free, transparent, and fair.”

Releasing a standalone statement, Ministers said good governance should continue to be an APEC priority, taking stock of the group’s recent efforts to promote good governance, encourage ethical business practices and fight corruption.

APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Disaster Resiliency

We, APEC ministers and senior government officials, along with private sector leaders, met in Honolulu, Hawaii for the High Level Policy Dialogue on Disaster Resiliency, under the chairmanship of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 along with additional earthquakes, floods, wildfires, typhoons and tornadoes among other events in the region, as well as the recent floods impacting Thailand, all remind us that the Asia-Pacific region is highly prone to the impacts of natural disasters.  They also underscore the importance of reducing disaster risk and strengthening the resiliency of our communities.  APEC, through its strong networks with the business sector, has a comparative advantage in encouraging greater private sector participation in disaster preparedness and resiliency efforts.  With these challenges and strengths in mind, and recalling the commitments made under the Hyogo Framework for Action as well as the APEC Trade Recovery Guidelines, we call on officials to adopt and implement the following objectives:

Provide businesses with tools to help them prepare

·         Promote voluntary standards for private sector preparedness to help businesses evaluate their own readiness and provide incentives for taking steps to prevent and mitigate the risks they face;

·         Promote standards and indicators for measuring the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction at both the economy-wide and regional levels to guide public and private sector investments and improve quality and consistency in implementation;

·         Promote and facilitate the use of Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), especially for SMEs, by appropriate means, including legal, market-oriented and social measures;

·         Promote financial instruments that help to respond and recover from disasters, as well as to transfer risk;

Facilitate the movement of goods and services during disasters

·         Recognize the importance of the supply chain and related infrastructure in the delivery of goods and services following a disaster;

·         Work through APEC fora to enhance customs procedures, and reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers, including domestic regulations and licensing issues that affect logistics and supply chain movements responding to a natural disaster;

·         Explore the use of customs and tariff waivers when host governments request humanitarian-related donations from the international community, taking into account existing guidelines and best practices;

·         Educate the public, business and government leaders on best practices for effective and appropriate donations to minimize the disruptions unsolicited donations can have on disaster response efforts;

·         Develop mechanisms for tracking private sector resources and capabilities;

Promote community based approaches

·         Recognize that communities are the first responders in disasters, and solicit participation and input from civil society, private sector, and local government stakeholders;

·         Promote early and frequent engagement of community groups and leaders in developing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) processes and policies, and assist communities in identifying practical steps to improve community resilience;

·         Encourage technical assistance, research of best practices, innovation and training for decision makers at all levels, taking into account community-based and gender-based DRR approaches and incorporating traditional, local, and scientific knowledge;

·         Promote community-centered education on disaster risks and risk reduction through existing community groups;

·         Provide early warning assistance through technical monitoring of incipient disasters and timely early warning dissemination through to the community-level, and build early warning capacities within economies to evaluate rapidly-evolving threats such as tsunamis;

·         Encourage an enabling environment for community-centered DRR activities through local governance and economy-wide policy engagement;

Support research and education

·         Promote increased disaster resiliency by sustaining and improving early warning systems through increased data exchange networks, improved forecasting skills and training, and reliable dissemination strategies;

·         Emphasize the relationship of training, education, and outreach to decreasing community vulnerability to hazards;

·         Actively engage and support scientific and technical communities to inform decision making;

·         Support efforts to improve executive education to develop a new generation of disaster management leaders and promote interdisciplinary research as well as platforms for prototyping tools arising from that research;

·         Recognize APEC’s efforts to make schools safer in response to seismic and tsunami threats; and

·         Advocate for the inclusion of natural hazard disaster preparedness as part of school curricula starting in primary schools.

Promote public-private partnerships

Partnership between the public and private sectors is essential as the private sector owns and operates a great deal of an economy’s critical infrastructure and has experience and knowledge regarding resilient construction techniques, the development of sustainable urban areas, energy safety, and the protection of critical resources.  Recognizing the need to incorporate the private sector more substantively in our emergency preparedness efforts, APEC economies will develop public-private partnerships within their own economies and report on their progress next year.  In developing these partnerships, APEC economies will be guided by the following broad principles:

1.     Adopt a “Whole of Society” approach to developing and strengthening public-private partnerships that support business and community resilience to disasters. This includes involving all levels of government, non-government, and the private sector;

2.     Through public-private partnership programs, encourage a greater role for women in supporting disaster resilient businesses and communities;

3.     Strengthen public-private partnerships by sharing information, drawing on best practices, and learning from experiences;

4.     Leverage existing programs and resources, and strengthen partnerships that develop during disasters to sustain long-term public-private collaboration and avoid duplication of effort;

5.     Establish partnerships based on shared responsibilities and resources, with mutually agreed upon roles and tasks;

6.     Cultivate public private partnerships that are open to flexible and innovative ways of working together to build business and community resilience to disasters.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stops to pose with this hula halau from Oahu

APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Open Governance and Economic Growth

We, the APEC Ministers, under the chairmanship of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, held a High Level Policy Dialogue on Open Governance and Economic Growth in Honolulu, Hawaii, on November 11, 2011.  We welcomed participation in the Dialogue by representatives from business, academia, and non-governmental and labor organizations.

Transparency and open governance are a critical element of long-term economic competitiveness, leading to sustainable economic growth and prosperity.  We welcome the efforts of APEC members so far to enhance public trust by combating corruption and by committing to transparent, fair, and accountable governance.  APEC should continue to actively address good governance issues as a key priority.  Good governance will in turn spur high-quality economic growth by fostering and sustaining the entrepreneurial spirit that nurtures innovation, enhances competitiveness, reduces market distortions and promotes trade and long-term investment.

Promoting Open Governance:  We appreciate the ongoing work of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to introduce recommendations to its membership regarding key measures to improve regulatory policy and governance.  Those measures draw upon the APEC-OECD Integrated Checklist on Regulatory Reform and its recommendations regarding regulatory quality, competition policy, and market openness.  We instruct the Economic Committee to continue its work to promote more open and effective governance across the APEC region by addressing best practices in public sector governance, regulatory reform, corporate law and governance and competition policy.

We recall our commitment to APEC’s Transparency Standards agreed to in 2002, as well as the nine sectoral standards agreed to in 2003 and 2004.  The ability for businesses, especially small and medium-sized exporters, to have access to laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings, and also to meaningfully participate in their development, is critical to strengthening regional economic integration, expanding trade and investment flows, and creating jobs in the region.

We welcome the recent launch of the Open Government Partnership and encourage eligible APEC economies that are not yet members to take the necessary steps to enable membership in this important initiative to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

Encouraging Ethical Business Practices:  We applaud the decision of the APEC SME Ministers at Big Sky, Montana in May 2011 to endorse the Kuala Lumpur Principles for Medical Device Sector Codes of Business Ethics.  This set of principles for the region’s medical devices industry is the first of its kind, and will improve the quality of patient care, encourage innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs that produce medical devices.  We also congratulate the work of the APEC SME Working Group in establishing voluntary sets of ethics principles for the biopharmaceutical sector (the Mexico City Principles) and the construction and engineering sector (the Hanoi Principles).  We endorse these three sets of principles and look forward to further APEC efforts to ensure that these principles have a practical impact for small and medium-sized companies.

Fighting Corruption:  We applaud the efforts of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group (ACTWG) to uphold public integrity by developing principles related to financial asset disclosure for officials, and to launch an APEC partnership with the private sector to combat corruption and illicit trade, including dismantling cross-border illicit networks.  We ask that the ACTWG report to Ministers on progress on these initiatives in 2012.

We recall the instruction of the APEC Leaders in Yokohama in 2010 calling on all APEC economies to report on their implementation of previously-agreed APEC anti-corruption and transparency policies.  We look forward to each economy presenting a full and comprehensive report on its progress by the end of 2014, to be preceded by interim reports by economies in 2012 and 2013 covering the full range of their APEC anti-corruption commitments and associated actions taken.  We also call upon APEC member economies to implement the UN Convention against Corruption, including by reinforcing transparency and inclusiveness in the conduct of their respective reviews.

Conclusion:  This Dialogue has reaffirmed and reinforced our commitment to combating corruption and operating transparent, fair, and accountable governments.  We instruct our officials to match this commitment with further actions, including capacity-building activities for developing economies, in support of this work.  We expect to review progress toward realizing these objectives under Russia’s chairmanship in 2012.

Donohue Joins Clinton to Reaffirm Commitment to Disaster Resiliency

Moving forward, we must continue to coordinate andcommunicate on our relief efforts,’ Donohue Says

At the APEC Summit today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to reaffirm the American business community’s commitment to improving responses to natural disasters through the development of an open-data tool that facilitates public-private partnerships and concrete projects for disaster resiliency in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Ensuring that the public and private sectors are talking and cooperating is an essential component of improving resiliency,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce following today’s meeting.  The event was a follow-up from Donohue and Secretary Clinton’s meeting in Tokyo last April to discuss the public and private sectors’ role in supporting Japan’s recovery from the devastating earthquake and deadly tsunami.

The U.S. Chamber and its Business Civic Leadership Center—working with American businesses, governmental authorities, and NGO’s—have played an essential role in coordinating the private sector responses to natural disasters across Asia.

The Chamber itself is engaging in cross-sector partnerships to accomplish this coordination work. The open-data tool that Donohue mentioned is being built in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development.  The Chamber also has signed an MOU with the U.S. Pacific Command.  That agreement expresses a mutual commitment to work together in disaster response throughout the Pacific Command region.

“The private sector is committed to working with stakeholders to improve the economic vitality, resiliency, and stability of the Asia-Pacific Region,” Donohue said.  He pointed to the work of BCLC in monitoring public, private and non-profit emergency responders and relief operations, and in tracking private sector donations to relief efforts.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the APEC Ministerial Kickoff

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Good morning, everyone.  Let me invite you, please, to find your chairs.  And we want to get started with this ministerial meeting kickoff, and I’m delighted to join with Ambassador Kirk in welcoming all of the foreign and economic ministers, the officials and representatives from APEC’s member economies, and the international organizations that are here today.  I would also like to acknowledge Mike Froman, chairman of the APEC Senior Officials Meeting, and all of the hardworking teams that have done the preparatory work in order for this meeting to be held and be successful.

The United States is proud to serve as host of this year’s APEC Leaders Meeting.  Global trends and world events have given us a full and formidable agenda, and the stakes are high for all of us.  We are each trying to generate balanced, inclusive, sustainable growth that delivers good jobs for our citizens; economic, social, and environmental progress for our nations; and shared prosperity for this region.

To accomplish these goals, we have to create a rules-based system that is open, free, transparent, and fair.  Working to make that system a reality has been the focus of all of our meetings this year, in Washington; in Big Sky, Montana; in San Francisco; and now here in Hawaii.   We even created an unofficial slogan:  “Get stuff done.”  And we have.

We’ve made tangible progress in three areas.  First, integrating markets and expanding trade.  We have focused on what we call next-generation issues – for example, by working to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses reach new customers beyond their borders.

Second, promoting green growth.  We have advanced a trade initiative for environmental goods and services which will help spur industries investing in green growth.  We’ve worked to reduce inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which will help protect the environment by reducing the wasteful consumption of fossil fuels.  And we are renewing our commitment to reduce our energy intensity by at least 45 percent by 2035.

Third, deepening our regulatory cooperation and convergence.  In recent years, we have seen how improvements in this area can unleash billions of dollars in commercial activities.  For example, when a majority of APEC countries adopted a uniform safety standard for televisions in 2005, exports for the region increased by 45 percent over the subsequent three years.

I think that the steps we have taken have moved us forward.  We’ve reaffirmed our commitment to meet World Bank benchmarks that will make it easier to do business in each of our countries.  We’ve launched a new effort to make travel easier and more secure throughout the Asia Pacific region.  I’m pleased to announce today that the United States will begin issuing APEC business travel cards to eligible U.S. citizens in the near future.

And to ensure that our work reflects the real world challenges that confront the people who help power our economies, we consulted with a broad range of business leaders at key events on energy, innovation, and health.  At our meeting in San Francisco, for example, we engaged with CEOs on how APEC countries can more effectively invest in the economic potential of women, whose talents and contributions still, unfortunately, often go untapped.  And we reaffirmed – or we affirmed the San Francisco Declaration, which lays out a roadmap for how the APEC economies can and will maximize women’s contributions toward economic growth.

Now, I am well aware that we all have differences in our individual approaches to economic policymaking, but I also know that we share the belief that markets, trade, and investment are vital to our prosperity.  So today, I look forward to hearing from everyone about ways we can continue to build an enduring regional economic architecture that is open, free, transparent, and fair.  Above all, I hope we can continue to find ways to achieve real results and, yes, get stuff done.

With that, I’d like to turn to my co-chair, who many of you on both the trade and economic side, as well as the foreign ministerial side, have come to know because of his great energy and commitment.  Ambassador Kirk.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton On America’s Pacific Century



DR. MORRISON:  How do you introduce the Secretary of State?  And I think the first thing I think of as a public servant, we sometimes hear the word public servant spoken in a kind of derogatory tone.  But the public servants that I’ve known, the members of our state and local government, members of our Congress, members of the international community, with a lot of volunteers and within a certain (inaudible) of the Department of State, are people who are incredibly dedicated and work tirelessly.

But there’s no one, I think, who is more tireless than the Secretary of State, and our own little vignette on this is that there was 25 years that the East-West Center saw no Secretary of State come to our campus.  And in the last two years, we’ve seen this Secretary of State three times.  (Applause.)  Now I have learned one other thing about her this time.  She is a risk-taker.  We told her that the weather was going to be raining, the program should be on the inside, and she told us that the weather was going to be fine – (laughter) – that the program was going to be on the outside.  And you can see who won the argument – (laughter) – but I think calculated and intelligent risk and something we also need in public service.

So I’m very pleased to present our Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Thank you.  Thank you all.  Aloha.

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Secretary Clinton to Discuss Women and the Economy at APEC CEO Summit

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will participate in a special session of the APEC 2011 CEO Summit on “Women and the Economy” in a conversation with FORTUNE Washington Columnist and Senior Editor Nina Easton.

The discussion follows up on Secretary Clinton’s speech on the inclusion of women as an economic growth strategy in September in San Francisco and will take place on November 11, 2011 at approximately 3:15 p.m. HST / 8:15 p.m. ET in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The conversation will be open to media who hold U.S. government issued media credentials and have registered with the CEO Summit via