APEC free trade



Leaders of the world’s most powerful economies went home on Sunday after four days of summitry that left them little closer to agreeing how best to rebalance the global economy and stave off fresh crises.

 

Two successive summits — first the Group of 20 meeting of advanced and emerging economies in Seoul, followed by this weekend’s Asia-Pacific leaders’ gathering in Yokohama — were marked by splits on economic policy between the United States and the world’s new number two economy, China. The two-day meeting did agree on plans for a free trade area linking the world’s fastest-growing region and to continue an agreement not to erect new trade barriers. One of the centerpieces of the APEC meeting was to take real steps toward a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) linking the world’s three biggest economies — the United States, China and Japan — with some of the fastest-growing emerging economies in other parts of Asia and Latin America For U.S. President Barack Obama, who may have started his 10-day tour of Asia hoping to put his party’s mid-term election defeats behind him, there were disappointments on the economic issues that were the primary focus of the trip.

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