The US, along with 11 other countries in North and South America, has launched the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP), a new economic partnership designed to stimulate trade, resilience, competitiveness, shared prosperity, sustainability, and inclusivity among partners countries.
The APEP, “will be a tool to bring more voices to the table, to ensure that people who have been traditionally left out – like women entrepreneurs, indigenous peoples, and other underrepresented groups – can help shape this new chapter in our story on trade,” said United States Representative Katherine Tai.
Tai added that the APEP “is a part of our pursuit of a worker-centered trade policy. It will be a new type of economic arrangement, anchored on cooperation to build our economies from the bottom up and the middle out. That includes empowering workers and eradicating forced labor; strengthening our supply chains to be more resilient against unexpected shocks; fostering innovation in both the public and private sectors; and tackling the climate crisis by growing climate-related industries and creating good-paying jobs throughout our region.”
- The creation of APEP was announced by President Joe Biden in June 2022 on the margins of the Summit of the Americas.
- The initial members of APEP are Barbados, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the United States and Uruguay.
- President Biden has indicated that the APEP could see further expansion to countries such as Brazil and Argentina.
- All member countries of APEP signed the Joint Declaration on the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity.
According to the White House, the APEP will focus on:
- Driving regional competitiveness and building the proper foundation for sustainable, dynamic economic growth and greater investment, including customs procedures, trade facilitation, logistics, good regulatory practices, and non-tariff barriers.
- Leveraging geographic proximity and deep trade ties to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of regional supply chains and grow our small and medium businesses, while protecting workers and the environment.
- Ensuring that all can benefit from shared prosperity in a dynamic economy, including investments in workforce development, labor standards, safety, equity, and promotion of quality jobs; expanding financial inclusion; and improving public services while addressing corruption, tax evasion, and other issues that affect the ability to deliver.
- Working together to bring responsible private investment to regions in order to drive inclusive and sustainable investment.
The White House says it looks forward to advancing this partnership through 2023.
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