APEC Leaders’ Summit draws more than 20 heads of government

APEC Leaders’ Summit draws more than 20 heads of government

  Today, the APEC Leader’s Week will kick off in Danang and should attract over 10,000 delegates and top business

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Photo: Reuters

 

Today, the APEC Leader’s Week will kick off in Danang and should attract over 10,000 delegates and top business executives from the 21 member economies.

Following the US’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it is hoped that President Donald Trump will clarify Washington’s trade strategy, which prioritises bilateral deals over larger multilateral configurations. Still uncertain about his “America First” policy, Asian countries have been reluctant to indulge Trump, and Vietnam is expected to promote TPP-11.

Following talks in Japan last week, this week’s summit will prompt a new round of negotiations for that pact. While the deal is closer to being concluded, disputes remain over whether to allow for an investor-state dispute settlement, giving foreign companies the right to sue a state. Clauses strengthening labour and environmental protections are also under scrutiny, though Tokyo is keen to keep them intact.

With last week’s talks having brought the parties closer to agreement, it is looking increasingly likely a post-US TPP deal could be signed—perhaps even as early as this week’s summit.

Delve deeper: Asian trade deals: USA bails, the region carries on

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