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Fact Sheet: APEC Leaders Agree on Actions to Promote Regional Economic Integration and Trade

November 11, 2014

Strengthening regional economic integration (REI) in the Asia-Pacific region by removing barriers to trade and investment remains the core mission of APEC and was one of the main themes for work in APEC in 2014. This year, APEC Leaders agreed on a series of outcomes that will help advance U.S. trade and investment interests, and build on APEC's successes in this area over the past several years. Most notable among these are the establishment of an APEC fund dedicated to helping economies overcome specific obstacles to implementation of APEC and WTO commitments on supply chain and trade facilitation and the groundbreaking APEC commitment to reduce tariffs on a list of environmental goods to 5 percent or less by the end of 2015.

Environmental Goods- To ensure the full implementation of APEC's ground-breaking 2011 commitment to reduce applied tariffs on the 54 products in the APEC List of Environmental Goods to five percent or less by the end of 2015, economies agreed to submit implementation plans by the time of the Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in spring of next year. APEC is also undertaking technical assistance that will help economies fully implement their commitments.

Good Regulatory Practices- APEC economies continue to strengthen the implementation of good regulatory practices. This year Leaders agreed to take steps to improve the conduct of public consultations through using information technology and the Internet. This new approach presents enormous opportunities for regulators in the region to consult more effectively with stakeholders, both foreign and domestic, and gain the best possible understanding of the possible economic impact of regulations. APEC Ministers encouraged economies to provide innovative capacity building approaches to the implementation of good regulatory practices and the use of regulatory tools.

Electric Vehicles- To promote the widespread use of environmentally friendly, technologically-advanced electric vehicles, APEC economies agreed to several steps, including using international standards as the basis for regulations on electric vehicles; creating a priority list of international standards important for electric vehicles; working towards aligning regulations and avoiding regulatory divergences, particularly regarding electric vehicle charging; and establishing and APEC Electric Vehicles Interoperability and Research Center to help economies meet their regulatory alignment objectives. Through these steps, APEC will encourage greater electric vehicle production and use - and greater trade and investment opportunities - while advancing APEC's green growth, connectivity, regulatory coherence, and regional economic integration objectives.

Supply Chain Performance- APEC Leaders agreed to accelerate technical assistance and capacity building to help economies improve supply chain performance, in support of the APEC-wide goal of a ten percent improvement in supply chain performance by the end of 2015. With a dedicated fund already in place, economies this year agreed to create a comprehensive capacity building plan for using the resources in this fund, and established a new body of public and private supply chain experts to advise the technical assistance and capacity building projects under the plan.

Barack Obama, Fact Sheet: APEC Leaders Agree on Actions to Promote Regional Economic Integration and Trade Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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