Over the weekend, President Obama kicked off the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and Economic Leaders' Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. Regional trade regimes, like APEC, are seen as a way to promote economic growth. Examples of these trade regimes included NAFTA, APEC, ASEAN, and SADC.
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose with Chinese President Hu Jintao and his wife Liu Yongqing in Honolulu, Hawaii, on November 12.
Since its first meeting at Blake Island near Seattle in
1993, APEC has served as a forum for U.S. engagement with the Asia-Pacific
region. APEC's 21 member economies
comprise a market of 2.7 billion consumers, account for 44 percent of world
trade, and represent 55 percent of global economic output (more than $35
trillion in 2010). Six of America's 10
largest trading partners are in APEC.
These regional trade and economic organizations have not sought
nor achieved the level of integration the EU. However, they do demonstrate the
widespread acceptance that states cannot individually resolve many of the
problems that confront them collectively.
At the APEC meeting, President Obama also met with Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) leaders, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New
Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
President Barack Obama attends the Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Yokohama, Japan, Nov. 14, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Obama Administration announced in November 2009 the
United States' intention to participate in the TPP negotiations to conclude an
ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S.
priorities and values. The Obama Administration expects the TPP agreement
to boost U.S. economic growth and support the creation and retention of
high-quality jobs at home by increasing American exports to a region that
includes some of the world's most robust economies and that represents more
than 40 percent of global trade.
"The TPP will boost our economies, lowering barriers to
trade and investment, increasing exports, and creating more jobs for our
people, which is my number-one priority," said President Obama.
Later in the day, President Obama participated in an APEC
CEO Business summit, including a question and answer session with Boeing CEO,
Jim McNerney. McNerney, 61, oversees the
strategic direction of the Chicago-based, $64.3 billion aerospace company. With
more than 160,000 employees across the United States and in 70 countries,
Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and a top U.S. exporter. It is
a leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes, military aircraft, and defense,
space and security systems; it supports airlines and U.S. and allied government
customers in more than 90 nations.
President Barack Obama, with Boeing CEO James McHenry, Jr., answers a question at the APEC CEO business summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Companies from Caterpillar Inc. to Eli Lilly and Co attended
the summit as the APEC CEO Summit draws thousands of business leaders from
around the region and beyond. The CEO Summit provides opportunities for
business executives to engage in dialogue with global leaders and ministers of
foreign affairs and trade, discover business opportunities through networking
with CEOs from hundreds of top Asia-Pacific companies, and to forge connections
with economic thought leaders from around the region and the world.
President Obama strongly expressed Corporate America's
concerns about China's trade policy in a private meeting with Chinese President
Hu Jintao on Saturday.
"He made it very clear that the American people and the American business community were growing increasingly impatient and frustrated with the state of change in China's economic policy and the evolution of the U.S.-China economic relationship," said Michael Froman, a senior White House adviser on international economic affairs.
Chinese President Hu Jintao listens to U.S. President Barack Obama's opening remarks during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit leaders plenary session in Kapolei, Hawaii on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
There are many positive and negative impacts
that multinational corporations have on Global South countries. Do
multinational corporations in the Global South: help or hurt? Or both?
President Obama has said the US relationship
with China was "off kilter" and China is now too "grown up"
now to flout international rules. How should the United States (a national that
clearly supports liberal trade policies) engage with China's protective trade policies?
Filed under: International Relations, Obama, TPP, APEC, United States, global stability, Development, China, global North, global South, MNCs, President Obama, Trans-Pacific Partnership