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Tuesday, September 30, 2014         

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APEC: Obama administration shifts from European debt talks to Pacific free trade

By Bloomberg News

POSTED:



U.S. and Asia-Pacific leaders meeting this week in Hawaii will try to turn away from the European debt crisis to discuss how to boost trade and global economic growth, a U.S. Treasury official said.

“The deliverable from this meeting is to pivot away from Europe and to draw the implications of the turbulence in Europe for global growth prospects,” Charles Collyns, assistant secretary for international finance, told reporters in Washington today.

President Barack Obama and officials of nations from Chile to Vietnam will meet for the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Honolulu this weekend. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner is also attending sessions with finance ministers beginning Nov. 9.

The Obama administration is trying to forge a trade agreement with Pacific-rim nations that would be the biggest for the U.S. since the North American Free Trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that took effect in 1994.

Collyns also said the U.S. is looking for a “willingness” from China and other Asian nations to avoid a “persistent misalignment” of their exchange rates.

 

In Beijing today, China's assistant foreign minister Wu Hailong called  the U.S. goals for the upcoming Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation conference "too ambitious."

The U.S. target for the summit is “too ambitious and is beyond the reach of developing economies,” Wu said.






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