FACT SHEET: PRESIDENT CLINTON & APEC LEADERS: WORKING TOGETHER TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21st CENTURY NEW ECONOMY
PRESIDENT CLINTON & APEC LEADERS:  WORKING TOGETHER TO MEET THE CHALLENGES
                      OF THE 21st CENTURY NEW ECONOMY
                             November 15, 2000

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum was established in 1989
to promote economic integration around the Pacific Rim and to help sustain
economic growth through cooperation among the economies.  The United States
was the driving force behind APEC's creation as a means of anchoring the
United States more firmly in the region in the post-Cold War era.  The
dynamic of APEC changed dramatically in 1993 when President Clinton invited
the leaders of member economies to Blake Island, Washington, instituting
what has become the annual Leaders' Meetings.  This annual gathering of
APEC leaders has become an important forum for solving regional economic
and trade problems and for advancing APEC's ambitious "Bogor goals" - free
and open trade for developed countries by 2010 and developing countries by
2020.

THIS YEAR, PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE OTHER APEC LEADERS ARE WORKING TO
ENSURE THAT ALL APEC MEMBERS WILL BENEFIT FROM THE NEW ECONOMY.  THEY ARE
FOCUSING ON THREE GOALS:

1.   Ensuring that all citizens will benefit from the New Economy by
working to bridge the    global digital divide, using information
technology to promote growth and create new   jobs, and applying
information technology to business and government to improve
efficiency and to enhance the quality of life;

2.   Continuing progress toward early launch of a new Round of WTO trade
talks and           ensuring that regional free trade agreements strengthen
the multilateral trading system;

3.    "Delivering to the community" in areas such as poverty reduction,
worker safety, child     labor, environment, small business, social safety
nets, education, health and infectious   disease.

PRESIDENT CLINTON & APEC LEADERS ARE WORKING TOWARD REACHING THESE GOALS
THROUGH DISCUSSIONS & ACTION IN A NUMBER OF KEY AREAS:
? Development of an "Action Agenda For The New Economy":
     ? Maintaining Moratorium on Customs Duties On E-Commerce;
     ? Promoting Liberal trade approach for E-Commerce;
     ? Announcing 19 out of 21 APEC Economies Are Currently Completing
E-Commerce          Readiness Assessment Programs;
     ? Establishing E-Commerce Readiness Evaluation Action Partnerships;
     ? Creating a Knowledge Network for Digital Opportunities;
     ? Launching Electronic Individual Actions Plans On Free Trade &
Investment;
     ? Adopting Standards To Promote Technology Trade; and
     ? Launching Anti-Piracy Software Initiative.

? Progress Toward Early Launch Of A New Trade Round And Efforts To
Strengthen Markets And Boost Growth In The APEC Economies:
     ? Working Toward the Launch of a New Trade Round;
     ? Announcing A Multilateral Aviation Open Skies Agreement;
     ? Increasing Financial Training;
     ? Launching Dialogue on Chemical Trade;
     ? Promoting Energy Security; and
     ? Intensifying Work on Reducing Non-Tariff Measures.

? Delivering To The Community By Investing In People & Reducing Poverty:
     ? Strengthening HIV/AIDS Prevention and Establishing A Disease
Surveillance Network;
     ? Providing Basic Education; and
     ? Preventing Abusive Child Labor.

                        DETAILS OF THE APEC AGENDA

PRESIDENT CLINTON & APEC LEADERS WILL DEVELOP AN "ACTION AGENDA FOR THE NEW
ECONOMY":  The President and other APEC Leaders will advocate
pro-competitive and market-based policies; liberalization of
telecommunication and transportation services; efficient customs
procedures, shipping and transportation; strong intellectual property
protection; and initiatives to strengthen financial markets and make
financial services more efficient.  They will work on specific actions that
will help all countries benefit from the New Economy, including:

? Maintaining Moratorium on Customs Duties on E-Commerce:  President
Clinton and APEC Leaders will agree to continue the moratorium on customs
duties on electronically delivered goods and services until at least the
next WTO Ministerial Meeting.  By working together to keep new duties out
of cyberspace, the APEC economies can better promote innovation and
creation of new products and increase the volume of trade online.

? Promoting Liberal Trade Approach for Electronic Commerce:  APEC will
agree to support the least restrictive approach to regulation of e-commerce
and to create a task force in the WTO to study how WTO rules should apply
to e-commerce.

? Announcing 19 out of 21 APEC Economies Are Currently Completing
E-Commerce Readiness Assessment Programs:  Following through on an
initiative begun by APEC leaders in 1999, APEC will announce 19 out of 21
APEC economies are now assessing their strengths and weaknesses in
e-commerce readiness, based on the APEC Readiness Assessment Guide, which
measures basic infrastructure and technology, access to basic services, the
current level and use of the internet, impact of e-commerce on the
economies, workforce availability, and the regulatory environment.   With
this critical mass of assessment now in place, APEC leads the world in
analyzing what must be done to improve the environment for e-commerce.

? Establishing E-Commerce Readiness Evaluation Action Partnerships:  With
U.S. leadership, APEC will announce the Readiness Evaluation Action
Partnerships (REAPs) initiative.  Responding to weaknesses identified in
the readiness assessments, the REAPS include practical actions to remove
roadblocks to e-commerce by partnering APEC members and the business
community to undertake pilot projects to close the digital divide.  To kick
off this initiative, the United States will work with Indonesian Internet
service providers and Vietnamese officials on Internet-related projects.

? Creating a Knowledge Network for Digital Opportunity:  President Clinton
and the APEC Leaders will call for close cooperation with the Global
Business Dialogue on E-Commerce and other private sector entities to join
with government to help create digital bridges in the APEC region.  That
cooperation will include establishing an interactive web-site for private
and public sector users in the APEC region to directly contact private
sector firms offering initiatives, training and opportunities.

? Launching Electronic Individual Action Plans On Free Trade & Investment:
APEC Leaders will launch an Internet-based database of their Individual
Action Plans (IAPs) toward free trade and investment in the region by
2010/2020.  These e-IAPs will permit easy access to steps each economy is
taking, provide a means to compare and assess each Plan, and help identify
areas where greater progress is necessary.  This is a major diagnostic tool
for APEC economies to gauge their progress toward the New Economy.

? Adopting Standards To Promote Technology Trade:  APEC will adopt "one
test, one standard" procedures for standard conformance for information
technology equipment.  This streamlined procedure, which has strong private
sector support, will improve access to IT technology by lowering the cost
of computers and related products to citizens in the region.  The U.S.
International Trade Commission estimates that the total cost of
certification is $1.8 billion per year just for U.S. firms doing business
in APEC - so the company savings from duplicative testing costs in multiple
economies can be significant.

? Launching Anti-Piracy Software Initiative:  APEC will agree to adopt the
U.S. proposal for an Anti-Piracy Software Initiative to allow only
legitimately licensed software in government offices.  The project would
promote strong management practices for software and other IP assets in
government offices through a program of information exchange and technical
cooperation.  Software piracy rates average nearly 50% in Asia and over 90%
in some countries.

PRESIDENT CLINTON & APEC LEADERS WILL WORK TO STRENGTHEN MARKETS AND BOOST
GROWTH IN THE APEC ECONOMIES & MAKE PROGRESS TOWARD EARLY LAUNCH OF A NEW
TRADE ROUND:

? Working Toward the Launch of a New Trade Round:  Leaders will call on the
WTO to launch the new Round and to make meaningful progress in the
agricultural and services negotiation now underway.  The United States
strongly supports a launch as soon as possible next year.

? Announcing A Multilateral Aviation Open Skies Agreement:  Leaders from
Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States will announce a
multilateral aviation agreement, APEC's first multilateral trade agreement.
A seamless network of transportation services is essential if the new
efficiency of digital commerce is to be meaningful.  This agreement will
create "open skies" for passenger and cargo service among these APEC
economies and is open to accession world-wide, making it an example of
"open regionalism."

? Increasing Financial Training:  APEC will expand training activities to
include not just bank supervisors and securities regulators, who are
already receiving training in international banking standards and
risk-based lending, but also life insurance and pension managers.  At the
request of the United States, this year APEC will launch an initiative to
fight financial crimes that will  include a core curriculum for authorities
and an APEC working group to survey regulatory frameworks for fighting
financial crimes. Domestic credit to the public and private sectors in
leading Asian economies (not including Japan) was $2.4 trillion in 1998 and
$2.6 trillion in 1999.  Even a moderate reduction of transactions costs
from improved regulatory capacity is likely to result in large efficiency
gains in these markets, and real systemic effects (such as more favorable
regional credit ratings) from collective improvement.

? Launching Dialogue on Chemical Trade:  Following on the success of the
Auto Sector dialogue in 1999, APEC has agreed to start a Chemicals Dialogue
to bring industry together with regulators in the second-most traded sector
in the APEC region.  This initiative can support further reduction in trade
and regulatory barriers in an industry that is essential to APEC
manufacturing in both hi-tech and traditional industries.  APEC economies
currently produce almost $1 trillion worth of chemicals annually and
account for 56% of global chemical production.

? Promoting Energy Security:  Expressing concern about oil price
volatility, leaders will call for balance in the oil markets and action on
measures to reduce vulnerability to oil price volatility which can threaten
even the most innovative industries.

DELIVERING TO THE COMMUNITY:  PRESIDENT CLINTON AND APEC LEADERS WILL AGREE
ON INVESTMENTS IN PEOPLE AND TO REDUCE POVERTY:

? Preventing HIV/AIDS and Disease Surveillance Network: The President and
APEC Leaders will commit to fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases
and call for the development of a strategy to address this potential threat
to the region.  The United States is already committed to fighting AIDS in
the APEC region and will announce AIDS funding for FY 2001.

? Providing Basic Education:  Leaders will support APEC activities on
improving teacher quality, use of technology to improve education, school
management, and student and teacher exchanges.  The United States is
working with other APEC members to create:

?    a clearinghouse for student assessment at a U.S. educational
institution that will         exchange information on best practices in
assessment, permit networking among           researchers, developers, and
private companies, and assist emerging economies to     obtain information
on best practices and possible resources for technical assistance,     and

?    a web portal for improving teaching, a cooperative program between the
United States  and  Singapore that would allow one-stop shopping for
information about strategies to    improve teaching in various APEC
economies.

? Preventing Abusive Child Labor:  With U.S. leadership, APEC is working to
eliminate the most abusive forms of child labor by strengthening basic
education and programs that keep children in school and out of the work
place.

                                    ###


President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement

Help

Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E