News & Policies >
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 21, 2004
Fact Sheet: Expanding Trade, Fighting Corruption
U.S. Actions at the APEC Leaders' Meeting
Today, President Bush and other APEC Leaders took action to increase global and Asia-Pacific trade, promote policies that spur economic growth, and fight corruption. Leaders discussed the importance of these issues and agreed to take action in the following areas.
Moving Forward on the WTO's Doha Negotiations: Under President Bush's leadership, APEC leaders and ministers last year played a critical role in getting the Doha negotiations back on track after negotiations had derailed at the Cancun Ministerial. This year, President Bush again led APEC Leaders in agreeing to take actions to move the negotiations forward. Specifically, Leaders agreed to: Move forward on Doha with a sense of urgency to achieve a result that meets high levels of ambition Instruct ministers to seek substantial results in the negotiations by the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2005 Contribute to the Doha trade facilitation negotiations by sharing APEC's expertise in this area with other WTO members Renew efforts to ensure participation of all WTO Members in the Doha negotiations
Expanding Asia-Pacific Trade: APEC leaders agreed to launch the Santiago Initiative for Expanded Trade in APEC. Proposed by the United States, the initiative has two important components: Trade Liberalization: Leaders instructed ministers to provide recommendations at next year's APEC meeting in South Korea on ways to further liberalize trade and investment in the region Trade Facilitation: Leaders agreed to build upon and elevate APEC's work to reduce business transaction costs by cutting red tape, embracing automation, harmonizing standards, and eliminating unnecessary barriers to trade
Ensuring High Standard Free Trade Agreements: President Bush joined other APEC leaders in welcoming the APEC Best Practices for Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). These best practices will help ensure that the growing number of FTAs in the Asia Pacific region meet a high standard and contribute to liberalizing trade in the region. The APEC Best Practices include: Consistency with WTO disciplines Comprehensiveness in scope, including substantially all trade Simplicity of rules of origin to reduce compliance costs for business Transparency by ensuring that the provisions are readily available on the Internet
Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection: Leaders welcomed the ministers' agreement to take actions next year to reduce piracy and trade in counterfeit goods, address online piracy issues, and increase IPR cooperation and capacity building. This U.S.-driven APEC commitment complements the Bush Administration's recently launched Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP) to shut down global trade in counterfeit and pirated products and crack down on criminal networks that traffic in these goods.
Fighting Corruption: President Bush and other APEC Leaders committed to significantly raise the stakes in the fight against corruption by launching the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency and the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency. These commitments require APEC economies to: Deny safe haven to officials and individuals guilty of corruption, those who corrupt them, and their assets Implement anticorruption policies and practices consistent with the UN Convention Against Corruption Implement the APEC Transparency Standards, with particular emphasis on government procurement and customs procedures Encourage collaboration to fight corruption and ensure transparency, including through cooperation with other multilateral and regional intergovernmental institutions Develop innovative training and technical assistance programs to fight corruption and ensure transparency
President Bush joined leaders from Australia, Chile, China, Japan, and South Korea in backing up these commitments by establishing an APEC Anticorruption and Transparency Capacity Building Program, to which the United States will contribute $2.5 million over four years.