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US Chamber hails pacific trade initiative
Feb '08
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded announcement that the U.S. will join negotiations with Singapore, Chile, New Zealand and Brunei to open financial services and investment markets as part of the Pacific-Four (P-4) trade agreement.

"Great oaks from little acorns grow," said Myron Brilliant, the Chamber's vice president for Asia, "and the business community hopes more countries will join in. This agreement could be a catalyst to open markets for U.S. exports across the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for half the world economy."

The negotiations on financial services and investment will build on an existing agreement between the four countries known as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, which is based on the U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with Singapore and Chile. The trade talks should set a high standard for future agreements in the region, according to the Chamber.

Upon completion of the negotiations, the Chamber hopes other countries with which the U.S. has existing FTAs such as Australia, Mexico and Peru will enter into the P-4 agreement. This "P-plus" arrangement could lay the foundation for a free trade accord among the 21 members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

"With over 100 preferential trade agreements among APEC economies and their partners, the P-4 process is a welcome opportunity to potentially integrate and improve existing accords," added Brilliant.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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