U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will be attending a virtual Asia-Pacific summit on Friday to discuss coronavirus and global economic growth, with persistent trade gaps likely to cloud the meeting.
Asia Pacific leaders called for more free and multilateral trade to help economic growth and warned against protectionist trade policies.
After coming to power in 2017, Trump slammed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, sparking a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
At the last APEC summit in 2018, Member States failed to agree on a joint communication for the first time in the history of the bloc, as the United States and China did not agree on trade and investment.
In the run-up to Friday’s conference, many APEC leaders warned of protectionism as a global threat to the economic effects of the novel coronavirus.
What Jacinda Arden Had to Say During APEC CEO Dialogues
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke at the APEC CEO Dialogues on Friday, where she mentioned, “As we confront this generation’s biggest economic challenge, we must not repeat the mistakes of history by retreating into protectionism.
APEC must continue to commit to keeping markets open and trade flowing.”
China would remain committed to multilateralism, transparency and cooperation. Xi said Thursday that the rise in unilateralism, protectionism and harassment as well as the backlash against economic globalization has added to the threats and uncertainties of the world economy.
He said that China would remain committed to multilateralism, transparency and cooperation.
Other Asia-Pacific leaders have shared the hope that Joe Biden’s administration will engage more and promote multilateral trade.
Japan’s Extensive and Progressive Agreement Extension
Japan intends to extend the Extensive and Progressive Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Trade, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday, possibly in the interest of China and Britain to join the agreement.
Trump took the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, the precursor of the CPTPP. The United States is also absent from the world’s largest free-trade bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (RCEP), a 15-nation pact backed by China that was signed last week.
The Trump administration has been criticized for a lower degree of participation in Asia. The only time he attended the APEC summit – held annually – was in 2017. The summit in Chile last year was cancelled because of violent demonstrations.
Last week, Trump also skipped two virtual Asian meetings: the 10-member summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the larger East Asia Summit.
Leaders of the APEC are also expected to address the post-2020 vision.
Apart from working on a joint communication, the APEC leaders are also expected to address the post-2020 vision of the bloc that will replace the 1994 Bogor objectives-a collection of goals to reduce barriers to trade investment-which will expire this year. The upcoming projects can bring prosperity to both the nations. The economic world is expecting something positive to make the future favorable.