Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Trump outlines Indo Pacific trade dream

Trump outlines Indo Pacific trade dream

President Donald Trump is signing a proclamation saluting the veterans of the Vietnam War.

The increasing use of the phrase "Indo-Pacific" by Trump and his team during their marathon Asian jaunt this week, instead of the "Asia-Pacific" term that has always been common in business and diplomacy, is being greeted with thinly-veiled sneers in Beijing.

Mr Trump and Mr Putin were expected to hold a formal meeting on the sidelines of the summit. So, you know, for Trump supporters back home, there was some real red meat on trade in this speech.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed scheduling conflicts.

But in an attempt to ease tensions, USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson said Washington had "two or three channels" open to communicate directly with Mr Kim.

Mr Trump is attending a welcome event and gala dinner as part of the summit.

During a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, the President urged foreign leaders to approach trade relationships with the United States "in the principles of fairness and reciprocity" and "follow the rules just like we do". "We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore", President Trump insisted.

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In a blunt address to a summit, the President vows to put America first - as countries flouting trade rules "hurt many people".

Trump did not mention China by name during the fiery speech, but appeared to change his tone from the day earlier, when he said, "How can you blame China for taking advantage of people that had no clue?"

In his speech, Mr Trump told executives gathered in the coastal city of Danang that he was happy to enter into bilateral trading agreements with any of the nations in the Indo-Pacific region - but only if they are reciprocal and fair.

Mr Trump had abandoned the deal past year saying it would cost USA jobs, and on Friday reiterated that the U.S. would no longer enter into "large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible".

During his trip to Beijing this week, Trump said that trade between the two nations was unfair, and called for greater market access for USA companies.

"We got a lot of work done, but there is still more work to do", Trudeau said. Ordinarily, the United States is sort of in the lead here at the head of the table.

The rise of Trump as leader of the world's biggest economy risks unpicking decades of US-led economic diplomacy that webbed global economies together with free trade and low tariff pacts.

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Trump's predecessors saw the deal as a way for the United States, and not China, to write Asia's trade rules.

APEC represents 21 Pacific Rim economies, the equivalent of 60 percent of global GDP and covering almost three billion people, and has pushed for freer trade since its inception in 1989. "Opening up will bring progress and those who close down will inevitably lag behind".

Trudeau said his unexpected absence from a TPP leaders' meeting on Friday, which caused consternation among his fellow leaders and confusion about Canada's stance, stemmed from an extra-long meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

HORSLEY: Trump promised a crackdown on countries that subsidize state-owned enterprises, steal intellectual property or force American firms to share technology as the price of doing business.

In a January survey of 462 US companies by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, more than 60 percent expressed little or no confidence that China would open its markets in the next three years.

And in an attack on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he said: "The future of this region and its attractive people must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail".

Trump is in the midst of a lengthy Asia trip and is in Danang to attend an global summit.

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It will be a change in pace for the president, who has spent much of the week basking in elaborate welcome ceremonies and banquets between meetings with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and China.

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