APEC: 20th Annual Leaders' Meeting

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 9, 2012

On September 8-9, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is participating in the 20th Annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ meeting in Vladivostok, Russia.

APEC is the premier forum for U.S. economic engagement with the Asia-Pacific region.

APEC’s 21 member economies comprise a market of nearly 3 billion consumers, account for 44 percent of world trade, and represent 56 percent of global economic output ($39 trillion in 2011). Six of America’s 10 largest trading partners are in APEC.

APEC Leaders are focused on promoting increased economic growth and prosperity in the region, under the four themes of the 2012 APEC year: (1) trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration; (2) strengthening food security; (3) establishing reliable supply chains; and (4) intensive cooperation to foster innovative growth.

The United States led the way in pushing for a ground-breaking APEC List of Environmental Goods to cut tariffs to 5 percent as agreed in 2011. The U.S. is also advancing efforts within APEC to take more significant steps to ensure food security, increase supply chain performance, promote market-driven innovation policies, and improve transparency in regulatory systems across APEC economies. Results in these areas will help U.S. growth and jobs by expanding export opportunities in the world’s fastest growing region.

The APEC Agenda: Creating Jobs and Growth

Since APEC was created, average tariffs in the region have fallen from 16 percent to 5 percent – on a value of $2.3 trillion of goods and services trade between the United States and the Asia-Pacific economies in 2010. Between 2009 and 2011, U.S. goods exports to other APEC member economies increased nearly 45 percent, and they are up 7.5 percent for the first half of 2012 alone. APEC economies purchased 60 percent of total U.S. goods exports in 2011 ($895 billion), and nearly 39 percent of U.S. private services exports in 2010 ($205 billion), supporting an estimated six million American jobs in 2011.

In Vladivostok, the United States and other APEC economies further covered trade barriers in order to support the growth of high-quality jobs, including by:

  • Agreeing to an APEC List of Environmental Goods that directly and positively contribute to our green growth and sustainable development objectives that will serve as the basis for APEC Leaders’ 2011 commitment to reduce tariffs on these products to 5 percent or less by 2015 – this agreement will impact more than $1 billion in U.S. exports;
  • Showing leadership to swiftly and meaningfully conclude negotiations to expand the product scope and membership of the WTO Information Technology Agreement, which could create significant market-enhancing opportunities for U.S. high-tech companies;
  • Agreeing to a comprehensive effort to improve supply chain performance in the region, which will make it significantly cheaper, easier, and faster for businesses to trade in the region;
  • Addressing next generation trade and investment issues, including by promoting market-driven and non-discriminatory innovation policy and increasing transparency and due process in policymaking, which will help to bring our trade policies in line with the realities of the regional environment that U.S. businesses confront;
  • Agreeing to strengthen our efforts to combat illegal trade in wildlife, which has economic, social, security, and environmental consequences in APEC economies;
  • Improving food security by continuing to reaffirm an APEC-wide standstill on agricultural export restrictions; and
  • Reinforcing the need for greater rebalancing of demand to strengthen the recovery, and foster strong, sustainable, and balanced growth in the future.

APEC Leaders are also advancing the role of women in the economy and the expansion of private sector participation in APEC’s work, including through the creation of a new public-private dialogue focused on innovation promotion in the region.

APEC Economies – The Basic Facts:

  • APEC’s member economies include: The United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Number of Economies: 21 (6 of them among the top 10 U.S. goods export markets: Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Hong Kong)
  • Market Size: 2.7 billion consumers
  • Combined APEC GDP: $39 trillion in 2011 (56 percent of world economic output)

U.S. Benefits from Trade with APEC Economies

  • Total U.S.-APEC Trade: $2.3 trillion in goods and services in 2010 (56 percent of total U.S. trade)
  • U.S.-APEC Trade Increase: Goods and services trade up 135 percent from nearly $1 trillion in 1994
  • U.S. Jobs Supported by Exports: An estimated 6 million jobs
  • Existing U.S.-APEC FTAs: 7 (Australia, Canada, Chile, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Singapore)

Top U.S. Markets in APEC: Canada ($280.9 billion)

(Goods Exports 2011) Mexico ($198.4 billion)

China ($103.9 billion)

Japan ($65.7 billion)

Korea ($43.4 billion)

Goods Exports to APEC: $895 billion in 2011 (60 percent of total U.S. goods exports)

Up 15 percent from 2010

Up 77 percent from 2000

Up 175 percent from 1994

Key Export Categories: Machinery ($131.7 billion)

(Goods 2011) Electrical machinery ($115.5 billion)

Vehicles ($83.9 billion)

Mineral fuel (oil) ($61.5 billion)

Plastics ($41.4 billion)

Manufacturing Exports: $765.0 billion in 2011

Up 15 percent from 2010

Agricultural Exports: $97.9 billion in 2011

Up 16 percent from 2010

Top Agricultural Exports: Soybeans ($15.6 billion)

Coarse grains ($11.1 billion)

Red meats ($9.7 billion)

Cotton ($5.7 billion)

Wheat ($5.3 billion)

Services Exports to APEC: At least $205 billion in 2010

(Private) 39 percent of total U.S. private services exports

Up 16 percent from 2009

Up 82 percent from 2000

Up 146 percent from 1994

PRN: 2012/1406