Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific nations have ended their annual summit vowing to resist protectionism amid increased scepticism over free trade.
The election of Donald Trump who has voiced opposition to the new (12-nation) Trans-Pacific Partnership pact or TPP is causing anxiety among participants. The issue has dogged the steps of the out going US leader Barack Obama who was attending his last APEC meeting.
“I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect (Donald Trump) an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance.”
Some leaders have suggested modifying the TPP deal to make it more appealing to the incoming president.
But the summit’s end statement said there was agreement that APEC would look more closely as a different, broader 21-nation pact favoured by the Chinese government known as the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.
The APEC statement also said the members would adhere to the carbon reduction goals set in Paris last year to address climate change, which they called a threat to food security and security.