The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 16, 2006

Fact Sheet: Working Together to Build More Hopeful Societies in the Asia-Pacific Region

America Must Maintain Its Presence In The Pacific: We Must Seize Our Common Opportunities, Confront Our Common Threats, And Help Our Partners Build More Hopeful Societies Throughout This Vital Part Of The World. America will remain engaged in Asia because our interests depend on the expansion of freedom and opportunity in this region. Our trade across the Pacific is greater than our trade across the Atlantic, our businesses see a bright future in Asia's thriving economies and rising middle class, and we see threats like terrorism, proliferation, and disease that have the potential to undermine our prosperity and put our future in doubt.

Building More Hopeful Societies Starts With Opening Up To The Opportunities Of A Global Trading System

Only An Ambitious Doha Agreement With Real Market Access Can Achieve The Economic Growth And Development Goals That The World Has Set. We look to nations across the Asia-Pacific region to help put these vital talks back on track.

To Help Build Momentum For More Open Global Trade, We Are Also Opening Up Markets With Individual Nations. We have negotiated free trade agreements with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) partners like Singapore and Australia, and we are negotiating similar agreements with Malaysia and South Korea. On the other side of the Pacific, we have successful free trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, and Chile, and we have concluded negotiations with Peru.

President Bush Believes The Idea Of A Free Trade Agreement For The Entire APEC Region Deserves Serious Consideration. The United States believes APEC is the premier economic forum in the region and has immense potential to expand free trade and opportunity across the Pacific. We want to help APEC become a stronger organization that serves as an engine for economic growth and opportunity throughout the region.

Building More Hopeful Societies Means Working Together To Confront Challenges Facing The Asia-Pacific Region

Together, We Must Unleash The Same Spirit Of Innovation And Enterprise That Sparked The Asian Economic Revolution To Spark A New Revolution In Energy Technology. As the economies of the Asia Pacific thrive and expand, one of our most pressing needs will be an affordable, reliable supply of energy. Four of the world's top five energy consumers are APEC members, and the region's need for energy will continue to rise.

We Are Working Together To Address The Threat Of Avian Flu. We have taken important steps to stop the spread of avian flu, and we are increasing cooperation to help ensure that if a pandemic ever does break out, we will be as prepared as possible. At the APEC summit, leaders will reaffirm their responsibilities to report new avian flu cases, contain the spread of animal outbreaks, and follow wise preparedness plans.

America Is Also Committed To Working With Its Asia-Pacific Partners In The Fight Against The Pandemic Of HIV/AIDS, With Particular Emphasis On Vietnam. Since 2004, the United States has provided more than $138 million to help Vietnam combat this disease.

Our Asia-Pacific Partners Know That They Can Count On America When Disaster Strikes Suddenly. After the tsunami struck in 2004, we dispatched military assistance and humanitarian relief to save lives and help devastated communities rebuild.

Our Commitment Extends Far Beyond Responding To Disasters. We are helping countries like the Philippines and Indonesia provide their boys and girls with an education that prepares them to succeed in the global economy.

Building More Hopeful Societies Depends On A Foundation Of Security

The Greatest Danger In Our World Today Is That Terrorists Could Get Their Hands On Weapons Of Mass Destruction And Use Them To Blackmail Free Nations, Or Kill On An Unimaginable Scale. In the Asia-Pacific region, the most immediate threat of proliferation comes from North Korea. After North Korea's recent nuclear test, the UN Security Council passed a unanimous resolution that imposes sanctions on North Korea's regime, and America will work with our partners to enforce those sanctions. We will also continue working with Japan, China, South Korea, and Russia through the Six Party Talks.

As We Work For A Korean Peninsula Free Of Nuclear Weapons, We Are Also Strengthening Defense Cooperation In The Asia-Pacific Region. Unlike Europe, where our security cooperation takes place through the NATO Alliance, America's security cooperation in Asia takes place largely through bilateral defense relationships. By building new defense relationships and strengthening existing alliances, we are ensuring that the forces of freedom and moderation in this region can defend themselves against the forces of terror and extremism.

In The Long Run, The Surest Path To Security Is The Expansion Of Freedom. The people of Asia have faith in the power of freedom, because they have seen freedom transform nations across their continent. Today, millions of Asians live in freedom that has unleashed the creative talents of people throughout Asia and helped prosperity sweep across the region.

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