President talks enhanced trade at APEC CEO Summit

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Before a ballroom packed with hundreds of business executives, President Barack Obama used a question and answer format to say much of America's economic future depends on Asia.

"We're going to have to continue to expand our trade opportunities and economic integration with the fastest growing region in the world," he said.

Obama said Asia is where the action is for doubling American exports and creating jobs back home, and it's in the United States' interest to have Russia in the World Trade Organization. He said America is ready to do business.

"If we can create a system in which everybody is playing by a common set of rules, everybody knows what those rules are, then I think U.S. workers and U.S.businesses are going to excel," he said.

As for China, Obama said America can have a friendly and constructive competition in areas of common interest. But corrections need to be made to the undervaluing of China's currency that creates an uneven playing field.

"That makes exports to China more expensive and it makes exports from China cheaper," he said. "That disadvantages

American businesses and it disadvantages American workers."

Obama warned American intellectual properties, including patents and copyrights must be protected overseas and action will be taken against infringements.

"There is no reason why it inevitably leads to sharp conflict. I think there's a win-win opportunity there," he said.

He told participants in APEC's CEO Summit his administration's "Select USA" plan makes it easier for foreign investors to build a plant in the United States and put Americans back to work. But he said some government rules and regulations on enterprise are outdated.

"If a rule isn't working anymore, we want to get rid of it," he said.

The president said in his view the Asia-Pacific arena is eager to see the U.S. re-engaged in the region as a leader and America is poised to take that place.

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