Biden at APEC

Biden Urges Steady China Ties, Trade Progress at APEC

Joe Biden participated in the summit of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. During the summit, he said they will continue working to make trade more facilitative by advancing workers’ rights through strong enforcement of labor standards.

Biden was also supposed to participate in a program of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) established by his administration with 14 countries. However, no progress was made on the IPEF trade agreement this week.

U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi told Reuters on Thursday that the U.S. and its Indo-Pacific partners need to restart their trade pillar negotiations early next year. She said most talks take years but the White House wants to move as quickly as possible within the timeframe.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Thursday that IPEF nations have agreed on several pillars of the trade initiative, including cooperation on clean energy and anti-corruption measures. Trade ministers on Wednesday welcomed more members into the bloc for the comprehensive and progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

APEC members are closely watching developments between the world’s two biggest economies and strategic rivals, the U.S. and China. They are concerned that sharper competition could strain global trade and security. Biden held a high-level summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday aimed at stabilizing tense relations.

He said a stable relationship between the U.S. and China is good for the world. Biden said the United States is not decoupling its economy from China but diversifying risks.

In summary, Biden advocated for stable U.S.-China relations at the APEC summit and pledged to continue efforts on the Trans-Pacific trade partnership involving Indo-Pacific nations.

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