Washington, DC – Tomorrow U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, the top House Republican on the Trade Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means, arrives in Japan for two days of meetings with foreign and U.S. government officials and private sector representatives at the ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
Congressman Brady, who also co-chairs the bipartisan APEC Caucus in the House, said, “It is important to be in Japan to show my strong support for APEC and to help demonstrate that the United States is serious about trade in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC is helping to tackle pressing economic, energy, and security challenges. I congratulate Japan on its hosting of APEC this year and hope we can continue to build on this work next year when the United States hosts.”
He added, “Greater U.S. economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region will benefit both the United States and countries in the region. The pending U.S.-South Korea trade agreement and the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations are two important opportunities for us to strengthen our relations in the region and to support American jobs and economic growth. We need to seize the moment on these and other pro-growth trade initiatives, including the other pending U.S. agreements with Panama and Colombia and by moving ahead on the Doha Round. I want to collaborate with the Obama Administration and my colleagues in the U.S. Congress to achieve these goals.”
Background: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, is the forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region through non-binding commitments and dialogue. APEC has 21 members, which account for over 40% of the world’s population, approximately 54% of world GDP, and about 44% of world trade. APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating efficient domestic economies and increasing exports. APEC also works to create an environment for the safe and efficient movement of goods, services, and people across borders in the region through policy alignment and economic and technical cooperation. APEC can often be the springboard for international agreements in the WTO by creating a smaller consensus first.
Congressman Brady serves as one of the four co-chairs of the APEC Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, launched in 2009 to work with APEC officials, U.S. and international policymakers, and private sector stakeholders on important issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The Caucus continues to educate Members of the U.S. Congress on why it is important for the United States to play an active role in the region and in APEC, especially as the United States prepares to host the annual APEC meetings in 2011.