Posted at 2:29 PM
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews traveled this week to Manila, Philippines and Tokyo, Japan to highlight the United States’ commitment to expanding commercial engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.
While in Manila, the Deputy Secretary participated in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit where he engaged with U.S. businesses including Johnson and Johnson, GE, FedEx Express, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Walmart Asia. During these meetings, he identified actions the Commerce Department can take to further expand opportunities for American businesses and workers to sell their products and services in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
The Department of Commerce is committed to building a durable network of partnerships and institutions across the Asia-Pacific that are capable of meeting 21st century challenges and ensuring market access for U.S. companies. This commitment also includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which encompasses a subset of APEC member economies and will give American businesses a new platform for Asia-Pacific regional economic integration.
The Department of Commerce is involved in several work streams, including promoting Business Ethics for APEC SMEs, promoting the integration of SMEs into the digital economy, and eliminating unnecessary regulatory barriers for trade in food products. The Department is also looking to reduce barriers to the growth of the digital economy and increase members’ participation in the Cross Border Privacy Rules system.
While at the CEO Summit, Deputy Secretary Andrews underscored the importance of combatting corruption in APEC economies during a keynote address at a forum hosted by the U.S.-APEC Business Council. Deputy Secretary Andrews also held meetings with Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and Indonesian Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong to discuss further steps to strengthen commercial ties with both countries.
Initiated in the Philippines in 1996, the APEC CEO Summit is the premier business forum in the Asia Pacific region. Bringing together global business executives, economic leaders and policy makers, it is the only platform where the business community can engage with the APEC Economic Leaders. It also provides unparalleled opportunities for sharing insights and solutions on enhancing trade and investment liberalization and other priority issues through open dialogue.
Before returning to the United States, Deputy Secretary Andrews traveled to Tokyo for bilateral meetings with Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Hitoshi Kikawada, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Tsuneo Kitamura, and State Minister for Health, Labour, and Welfare Yuzuru Takeuchi.
The United States and Japan have been excellent partners in efforts to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that reflects the highest standards on labor, the environment, and the digital economy, and will ensure that our businesses and workers can compete on a level playing field globally.