The convening of APEC Economic Leaders in San Francisco November 16-17 capped off a successful APEC host year for the United States, advancing its theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.” In addition to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by President Biden, APEC Economic Leaders’ Week included: the Finance Ministers’ Meeting, chaired by Treasury Secretary Yellen, November 12-13, and the APEC Ministerial Meeting co-chaired by Secretary Blinken and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Tai, November 14-15. It also included the APEC CEO Summit, which convened CEOs, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and political leaders for discussions on global opportunities and challenges that are shaping economic, environmental, and societal trends in the region, as well as the APEC Business Advisory Council Annual Dialogue with Leaders, chaired by Vice President Harris.
Throughout our 2023 APEC host year, the United States worked with APEC economies to support sustainability through a focus on a just energy transition, build a Digital Pacific by advancing digital skills and connectivity, and promote resilience and inclusion by meeting the moment on trade and investment, gender equity, food security, anti-corruption, supply chains, and support for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. President Biden, as APEC Chair, has advanced a dynamic economic agenda, in line with the United States’ host year priorities of building a more interconnected, innovative, and inclusive APEC region. Under President Biden, the United States will continue leading the global economy to drive inclusive economic growth which benefits American workers, families, and businesses, and delivers prosperity across the Asia-Pacific.
Leaders endorsed the Golden Gate Declaration, a consensus declaration to advance efforts to achieve APEC economies’ ambitious sustainability and inclusion objectives. The Declaration was issued alongside a companion Chair’s Statement, which reflects the Leaders’ discussion on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and other geopolitical issues. Secretary Blinken and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Tai joined their counterparts in issuing a consensus joint ministerial statement. The Statement was similarly issued alongside a companion Chair’s Statement. Treasury Secretary Yellen also hosted ministers from November 12-13 for the 2023 Finance Minsters’ Meeting. We look forward to continuing to advance many of these priorities when Peru hosts APEC in 2024.
WHY WE ENGAGE IN APEC
The 21 APEC member economies are home to 3 billion people – nearly 40 percent of the world’s population – and represent almost half of global trade and more than 60 percent of the world’s GDP. As of 2022, fellow APEC members were the destination for more than 60 percent of U.S. goods exports, and seven of the top 10 overall trading partners for the United States are APEC members.
We took full advantage of our 2023 APEC host year to deepen our economic ties with key regional partners and advance a more innovative, interconnected, and inclusive economic agenda for the region.
Private sector partners across all APEC economies play a critical role in APEC’s goal of driving sustainable, inclusive, and dynamic economic growth throughout the region. APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, which convened nearly 3,000 senior government officials and global business leaders, featured extensive and substantial public-private collaboration, as a part of the APEC CEO Summit as well as the inaugural APEC Sustainable Future Forum and the APEC Business Advisory Council’s Annual Dialogue with Leaders.
During APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and the APEC CEO Summit, the Biden-Harris Administration announced significant private sector investments and contributions from both the United States and across the region. In particular, the Administration spotlighted over $50 billion of investments from U.S. companies into APEC economies in 2023; these investments will further the integration of a Digital Pacific, foster broader economic participation, promote equality and inclusion, support the clean energy transition, shore up reliable supply chains, bolster regional health and cyber preparedness, and support small- and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, the Invest in America Event—hosted by The White House and Departments of Commerce and State—highlighted nearly $200 billion of investments into the United States from companies based in APEC economies since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration; these investments support tens of thousands of good jobs for American workers across clean energy, batteries, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and more. In fact, U.S. exports to Asia-Pacific economies have increased 25 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, helping U.S. businesses expand and hire more workers.
Throughout 2023, we sought to demonstrate to the American public the importance of U.S. economic engagement and leadership in the region – and how it translates to concrete outcomes here at home. Under the banner of “APEC Connect,” we travelled across the United States to both engage with new audiences to highlight the significant benefits of our participation in APEC for all Americans and incorporate the priorities of stakeholders and historically underrepresented groups into our APEC conversations.
To that end, we engaged with more than 5,000 domestic stakeholders from small and medium sized enterprises, trade associations, chambers of commerce and industry, nonprofits, think tanks, academia, labor groups, advocacy groups, Indigenous Peoples, media, and members of the U.S. Congress, state and local governments, and other elected officials through nearly 400 meetings, field trips, roundtables, panels, and briefings in the APEC host cities (Honolulu; Palm Springs; Detroit; Seattle; and San Francisco) and other parts of the United States (Los Angeles; New York; Pittsburgh; Atlanta; Rockville, Maryland; and Chicago).
During APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, civic organizations and the San Francisco APEC Host Committee hosted nearly 30 public and stakeholder engagement initiatives attended by more than 3,000 domestic and international participants. Stakeholder initiatives included the inaugural APEC Multistakeholder Forum, APEC University Leaders’ Forum, APEC Study Centers Conference, APEC Meets California and Silicon Valley Series, The Future Starts in California Conference, and more. 1,200 multilingual volunteers – American and international students, retired individuals, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds from across the United States – were essential to the delivery of a successful APEC Economic Leaders’ Week program. We thank all these groups and individuals for their contributions and tireless efforts.
The United States secured significant outcomes centered around the host year priorities of sustainability and inclusion, digital innovation, and resilient and inclusive growth. The host year work plan and outcomes are arranged below according to our three cross-cutting policy agendas: the Manoa Agenda for Sustainable and Inclusive Economies; the Digital Pacific Agenda; and the Bay Area Agenda on Resilient and Inclusive Growth.
THE MANOA AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMIES
Through the Manoa Agenda, the United States committed to working with APEC economies to practically implement APEC’s sustainability and inclusion objectives, including by supporting global efforts to address environmental challenges.
Enhancing Climate Mitigation and Resilience
- APEC Economic Leaders committed to pursue and encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally through existing targets and policies as well as demonstrate similar ambition with respect to other zero and low emissions technologies including abatement and removal technologies in line with domestic circumstances by 2030.
- Energy Ministers reached consensus on an APEC Just Energy Transition Initiative and endorsed the Non-Binding Just Energy Transition Principles for APEC Cooperation, a set of principles geared towards promoting efforts to advance clean energy transitions within the APEC region that meaningfully engage the workforce, private sector companies and investors, and communities in an equitable and inclusive way, building on the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth.
- Maintaining momentum from Thailand’s 2022 host year, private sector stakeholders committed to the Bio-Circular Green Economy Pledge, indicating private sector commitment to implement “practical, ambitious, and concrete initiatives that advance the BCG goals.”
Tackling Environmental Challenges, and Reducing Disaster Risk and Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response
- The inaugural Sustainable Future Forum (SFF) on November 14 convened public and private stakeholders to support global efforts to address environmental challenges through climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience; progress sustainable and inclusive trade and investment; advance resource efficiency; and promote conservation.
- The United States has launched an APEC Coastal Resilience Framework to help Asia-Pacific coastal communities build their adaptive capacities to “bounce back” after adverse climate events. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will also provide technical assistance sessions to help APEC economies implement the Framework.
- APEC economies updated the APEC Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and Action Plan that drives APEC’s approach to crisis management and disaster risk reduction. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the launch of a new Crisis Management Leadership Series to bolster crisis management competencies in the APEC region as we seek to minimize the impact of disasters on our people and communities.
Promoting Food Security, Food Safety and Agricultural Biotechnology
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new Food Security Dashboard to provide policymakers with information on the role of trade in food security and provide guidance on which foods are needed and how to get those foods to countries in need.
- Throughout the U.S. Host Year, the United States led 22 agriculture-related workshops, field trips, and public-private dialogues to share the experiences, innovative production technologies and best practices of U.S. agri-food industries. USDA produced Instructional Field Guides to share the workshops’ presentations, which are accessible on USDA’s website.
Enhancing Infrastructure and Transportation Networks
- Transportation Secretary Buttigieg announced the launch of the APEC Green Maritime Collaboration project, which will provide support to small and mid-sized APEC ports to develop low and zero emissions capital investment and port management plans.
- The APEC Automotive Dialogue endorsed policy recommendations to: (i) deliver on climate goals by increasing demand for low/zero emission vehicles; and (ii) emphasize effective collaboration between APEC economies and industry to scale up production of low/zero-emission vehicle batteries.
Advancing Gender Equality
- APEC initiated the development of the Seattle Framework on Gender Equality and Climate Change, an initiative to inform policymakers on different approaches to address the disproportionate impacts of environmental challenges – including climate change, extreme weather, and natural disasters – on women and girls of diverse backgrounds and those living in remote and rural areas.
- The APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition, endorsed by the APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology, and Innovation and implemented by the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology Initiative, awarded more than $50,000 in startup resources to five women climate entrepreneurs from APEC economies. Competing innovations ranged from unlocking the power of new technologies like artificial intelligence to harnessing the power of the world’s natural biodiversity.
DIGITAL PACIFIC AGENDA
Through the Digital Pacific Agenda, the United States committed to working with APEC economies to shape the rules, norms, and standards that govern the digital economy, expand secure digital access for consumers and businesses, and support the responsible design, development, and deployment of emerging digital technologies.
Digital Economy and Digitalization
- The United States hosted the inaugural APEC Digital Month in August in Seattle, which convened hundreds of public and private sector experts in more than 40 technical workshops, roundtables, and public-private dialogues on a range of digital topics.
- The United States initiated a dialogue about new and emerging low-earth orbit satellite communication systems that can advance the objective of extending connectivity to everyone in the APEC region.
- The United States furthered APEC’s work on digital assets to help economies commit to maintaining high regulatory standards, closing regulatory gaps, and promoting financial stability.
- The APEC Closing the Digital Skills Gap Forum sought to provide economies with tools to invest in the digital upskilling and reskilling of the workforce and address the skills gap exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- APEC members worked to increase capacity to integrate digital health and telehealth solutions and further develop health ecosystems, including through exploring the possible development of digital health-focused toolbox for APEC economies.
Promoting Digital Trade
- The U.S. held trade policy dialogues on Digital Trade, focused on building regulatory environments conducive to maximizing the flow of data and on building a worker-centric digital trade agenda across the APEC region.
BAY AREA AGENDA ON RESILIENT AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH
Through the Bay Area Agenda, the United States committed to working with APEC economies to ensure that the progress we have made in advancing long-term robust, innovative, and inclusive economic growth can endure unpredictable challenges we may encounter going forward.
Addressing Inclusion and Resiliency in Trade
- APEC economies endorsed the Guidelines on Logistics-related Services that Support the Movement of Essential Goods During a Public Health Emergency. The Guidelines support good regulatory practices, trade measures, and digitalization for logistics-related services.
Fostering an Enabling Environment
- APEC economies endorsed an APEC Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) Blueprint, which may be incorporated into member economies’ regulatory frameworks to increase transparency, improve regulatory quality, and produce better regulatory outcomes. This can help minimize trade and investment disruptions caused by differing regulatory requirements and support more effective functioning of supply chains.
Strengthening Health Systems
- APEC economies underscored the value of strengthening regulatory and delivery systems in the region, as well as the need to ensure the appropriate organizational structure to continue APEC’s critical work on regulatory cooperation and convergence in efforts to ensure access to safe, effective, and quality-assured medical products.
Facilitating Cross-Border Travel
- The United States committed to introducing new efficiencies in line with the APEC Business Travel Card program, including the relaunch of the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Business Visa Center, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s updating of Global Entry kiosks with Touchless Portals.
Advancing Gender Equality
- The United States leveraged its leadership of the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy to advance priorities on digital inclusion, care infrastructure, and equity and equality in global value chains for women and girls, including commitments to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility workplace policies and increased financial support for women-owned start-ups.
- The United States released the report Women in Global Value Chains: An APEC Benchmarking Study, which is designed to help improve the capacity of APEC economies to support procurement from women-owned businesses in global value chains which will promote supply chain resiliency and inclusive economic growth.
- APEC Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ministers decided to collaborate with business support organizations and academic institutions to develop policies, technology solutions, and capacity building measures that address key barriers faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in digitally-enabled trade.
- The United States hosted the 2023 APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum, which strengthens ethical business practices in APEC through private sector-led collective action. The United States also convened the first APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Government Strategies to Encourage Ethical Business Conduct and developed APEC Recommendations for Enterprise Integrity in Public Procurement to help level the playing field for MSMEs pursuing procurement opportunities.
- The United States convened a joint meeting of the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy and SME Ministers to spotlight the intersection of women and MSMEs, drive greater sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and serve as an example for advancing the economic interests of those with untapped economic potential, including Indigenous businesses.
- Private sector partners, the National Center for APEC (NCAPEC), in partnership with UPS and Johnson&Johnson, launched a MSME supply chain resilience toolkit, a self-assessment tool for MSMEs seeking to improve their supply chain resilience to future external shocks.
Elevating Workers’ Voices
Engaging the Historically Underserved and Underrepresented
- The United States, along with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, convened representatives of Indigenous Peoples from the APEC region to share experiences and views on regional trade with APEC trade ministers in a dialogue at the APEC Ministerial Meeting focused on Indigenous Peoples’ Perspectives on Regional Trade.
- The United States promoted cross-border education cooperation by introducing the Schools as Community Hubs Framework, based on the White House Community Schools Toolkit, which encourages education agencies and school districts to consider individual and community needs when developing more equitable policies.
For further information, please contact the Office of Economic Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at [email protected].
Official news published at https://www.state.gov/u-s-2023-apec-outcomes/