HONOLULU (Reuters) - Following are quotes from President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao before the APEC CEO summit.
Leaders of Pacific Rim countries are holding their annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii on Saturday and Sunday. On the agenda — promoting free trade and liberalizing regulations in order to strengthen economic growth.
CHINA RELATIONS: “We have created a frank dialogue with the Chinese over the last two years that has benefited both countries. My general view is that there can be a friendly and constructive competition between the United States and China, and a whole range of areas where we share common interests and we should be able to cooperate.
“We should be rooting for China to grow because not only does that then present an enormous marketplace for American businesses, American exports, but to see so many millions of people, hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty is a remarkable achievement. whether it’s China, whether it’s India, these emerging countries what they’re accomplishing in a few short decades — alleviating poverty, helping ordinary people all around the world get access to opportunity — that’s a wonderful thing that we should be rooting for, and these are potential customers for us in the future.
CHINA CURRENCY: “But what I have said since I first came into office and what we’ve exhibited in terms of our interactions with the Chinese, is we want you to play by the rules. And currency is probably a good example. there are very few economists who do not believe that the renminbi is not undervalued. That makes exports to China more expensive and it makes exports from China cheaper. That disadvantages American businesses and it disadvantages American workers.
“We have said to them that this is something that has to change, and by the way, it would also be good for China’s economy if they focused on their domestic market. That kind of appreciation of their currency would help the overall balance of payments globally, and it would increase growth in China and would increase growth in the United States.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: “For an economy like the United States where our biggest competitive advantage is our knowledge, our innovation, our patents, our copyrights, for us not to get the kind of protection we need in a large marketplace like China is not acceptable.
GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT: “If we are allowing foreign countries to bid on projects in the United States of America, we want reciprocity. State owned enterprises, how they work — all these issues I think have to be resolved. Some of them can be resolved in multilateral forums, some of them have to be resolved bi-laterally. I am sympathetic to the fact that a lot of people in China who are still impoverished, and there’s a rapid pace of urbanization that’s taking place there that Chinese leaders have to work through.
TRADE DISPUTES: “The bottom line is that the United States can’t be expected to stand by if there’s not the kind of reciprocity in our trade relations and our economic relationships that we need.
“So this is an issue that I’ve brought up with President Hu in the past. we will continue to bring it up. There is no reason why it inevitably leads to sharp conflict. I think there is a win-win opportunity there but we’ve got to keep working diligently to get there.
“And in the meantime, where we see rules being broken, we’ll speak out and in some cases we’ll take action. We’ve brought more enforcement actions against China over the last couple of years than had taken place in many of the preceding years, not because we’re looking for conflict, but simply because we want to make sure that the interests of American workers and American businesses are protected.”
U.S. EXPORTS: “We are on track to double our exports. We have substantially increased the amount of financing we are providing to companies. We are starting to focus on how we can get small and medium sized businesses plugged into the global economy as well. For us to be a champion not only of financing but also making it easier for them to enter into the global marketplace is something we want to focus on.
EUROPE: “I was pleased to see that European leaders were taking seriously the need to not just solve the Greek crisis, but also to solve the broader euro zone crisis. There have been some positive developments over the last week — a new potential government in Italy, a new government Greece, both committed to applying the sort of internal structural reform that can give markets more confidence.
“There is still work to be done in the broader European community to provide markets a strong assurance that countries like Italy will be able to finance their debt. These are economies that are large, they are economies that are strong, but they have some issues that the markets are concerned about. And that has to be addressed inside of Italy, but it’s not going to be addressed overnight. So it’s important that Europe as a whole stands behind its euro zone members. And we have tried to be as supportive as we can providing them some advice and technical assistance.
“I think that we’re not going to see massive growth out of Europe until the problems are solved. And that will have a dampening effect on the economy. But if we can at least contain the crisis, then one of the great opportunities we have is to see the Asia-Pacific region as an extraordinary engine for growth.”
GROWTH: “Under the current circumstances, we must be firmly committed to maintaining and promoting stability, with a special emphasis on ensuring growth”
“Developed countries should fulfill their responsibilities and obligations and take more concrete action.”
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ORDER: “We need to improve the mechanism for global economic government and build an equal and more balanced model for development.”
“The new mechanism for global economic governance should reflect the changes in the world economic landscape. It should observe the principle of mutual respect and collective decision making and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries.”
“We should actively promote the idea of green development and respect the choice independently made by APEC members to independently pursue green growth on the basis of their resource endowment, stage of development and capacity.”
“We should enhance dissemination of and cooperation in green technology, help developing APEC Members build environmental industries, avoid new green trade barriers and strive for simultaneous progress in environmental protection, trade and development.”
China “should make innovation a main driver of growth.”
“(We) should uphold the multilateral trading regime and deepen regional integration .... should fulfill our commitments, firmly oppose and jointly resist protectionism of all forms.”
“We should advance the Doha round negotiations and endeavor to reap an early harvest agreement within this year on giving tariff-free, quota-free products from the least-developed countries.”
“China supports steady efforts to build a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific on the basis of the East Asia Free Trade Area, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia and the Transpacific Strategic Economic Partnership agreement, with those achieving economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“In the past few years, our Government has been aggressively expanding commercial relations with the Asia-Pacific region to create jobs and economic benefits here at home,”
“Our efforts are yielding results. We are maximizing opportunities for our entrepreneurs through innovative trade, investment, air, and science and technology agreements. We are also attracting regional investment to Canada by ensuring a speedier transport of goods through a much strengthened Asia-Pacific Gateway.”
Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Doug Palmer, Michael Martina, David Lawder; Editing Stella Dawson