Bureau of East Asian Affairs
November 9, 2006
The United States and APECPDF version
"America's future is inseparable from our friends in the Pacific. By working together, and by continuing to foster reasonable pro-growth economic policies, the fellowship of Pacific nations will continue to be strong."
--President George W. Bush, 2004
APEC and the ASIA PACIFIC
Since 1989, when the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum began, the Asia-Pacific region has been the most economically dynamic part of the world, with real GDP across all APEC economies rising by an impressive 66% from 1989 to 2005. APEC's 21 member economies now account for 60% of the global economy. The United States exported $575 billion -- or nearly two- thirds (64%) of total U.S. goods exports -- to APEC economies in 2005.
APEC member economies sustain their growth through an ever-deepening commitment to open and secure trade and investment, as well as economic reform. By progressively reducing tariffs and eliminating trade barriers, APEC member economies have become more efficient and have led the world in poverty reduction and social development.
The annual gathering of APEC Leaders, initiated under U.S. leadership in 1993, is the most important multilateral gathering in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC brings high level attention to issues of regional and global consequence, and provides a regular forum for the 21 APEC Leaders to meet and address issues of common concern. APEC has grown to include over 100 formal and informal dialogues and meetings, tackling issues that are critical to the future prosperity, security and development of the Asia-Pacific region.
U.S. POLICY TOWARD APEC
APEC is the only regional institution that brings together the leaders of all the region's major economies annually. The United States views APEC as the premier organization in the Asia-Pacific, enabling our government and people to contribute to the prosperity, security and healthy development of the region.
"The Mediterranean is the ocean of the past, the Atlantic, the ocean of the present, and the Pacific, the ocean of the future."