April 19: Maintaining the Momentum: APEC in 2012

April 19, 2012: Amb. Hans Klemm and Wendy Cutler
Pravakar Sahoo at the EWCW
(Click to enlarge) Left to Right: Hans Klemm and Wendy Cutler field questions from the audience at an off-the-record seminar at the East-West Center in Washington.

Maintaining the Momentum: APEC in 2012

WASHINGTON DC (April 19, 2012) Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) received a substantial boost in recent years due to a renewed focus on securing tangible, concrete outcomes toward increased trade and investment flows and deeper regional economic integration. U.S. Senior Official for APEC, Ambassador Hans Klemm gave an overview of the history of APEC as an institution, its recent revitalization, and previewed what topics will be highlighted at the summit in 2012. Russia now is hosting APEC this year and has targeted four priorities: food security, innovation, improving regional supply chains, and advancing work on the core APEC objective of regional economic integration.

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler went over the accomplishments and lessons learned from last year when the U.S. hosted APEC. In 2011, important initiatives were announced to reduce tariffs and non-tariffs measures on environmental goods and services, promote green growth, and advance regulatory coherence, support the participation of women in the APEC economies, and to facilitate travel throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which were met with significant enthusiasm at last year’s summit, are seen as a pathway to the overarching APEC goal of concluding a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

Hans Klemm is currently Coordinator for Economic Policy in the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Bureau of the Department of State, he is the U.S. Senior Official for APEC and has served repeatedly in positions with responsibility for economic policy in Asia. He represented the U.S. as Ambassador to Timor-Leste and for rule of law and law enforcement in Afghanistan.

Wendy Cutler is currently the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea and APEC, she is the U.S. Government lead for trade and Investment issues in APEC. She also is responsible for the U.S. trade agenda with Japan and Korea.