President Barack Obama has appealed to Asian leaders for greater access to fast-growing markets, proclaiming: “The US is here to stay” and its prosperity is tied inextricably to its Pacific trading partners.
“America is leading again in Asia,” Mr Obama told a gathering of chief executives at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in Yokohama, Japan, reiterating his goal of doubling US exports over the next five years.
“For America, this is a jobs strategy,” the president said. “In this region, the US sees a huge opportunity to increase our exports in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.”
At the same time, Mr Obama said healthy competition need not cause ruptures in relationships between nations.
“There’s no need to view trade, commerce or economic growth as zero sum games, where one country always has to prosper at the expense of another,” he said.
“The story of Asia over the last few decades is the story of change so rapid and transformative that it may be without precedent in human history.”
While recognising the spectacular economic growth in Asia, Mr Obama said, “We want to get back to doing what America has always been known for: discovering, creating, and building the products that are sold all over the world.”