APEC Leaders Agree to Ease Trade Rules and Cut Tariffs on Green Goods

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Photo: AP - President Barack Obama

HONOLULU, HAWAII – Asian-Pacific leaders have agreed on a range of measures to boost economic growth, including simplifying trade rules and cutting tariffs on green energy goods.

U.S. President Barack Obama hosted 20 other leaders for a summit of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum Sunday in Hawaii.

The White House says strengthening economic integration at a time of global uncertainty helps U.S. businesses compete more effectively in the Asian-Pacific region.

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It says APEC leaders agreed to ease what the White House calls unnecessary burdens on businesses, and end barriers to trade in pro-environmental goods and services.

President Obama opened the summit by saying APEC’s ultimate goal is creating a seamless regional economy — one that can benefit 3 billion people.

Saturday, Mr. Obama and eight other APEC leaders agreed to create a huge Pacific Rim free trade zone called the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Canada, Mexico, and Japan say they are interested in joining the TPP negotiations.

Countries currently involved in talks on forming the TPP are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Their leaders call the TPP a milestone toward their goal of linking their economies and liberalizing mutual trade and investment. They also expressed confidence that the accord will create jobs, improve living standards and reduce poverty.

But China is critical of the TPP, calling it a form of trade protectionism.

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