APEC Leaders: Practice What You Preach on Trade
IPN Press release
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Leaders of the 21 APEC countries are meeting in Singapore, and a key item on the agenda is the issue of avoiding trade protectionism.
Alec van Gelder, director of the trade programme at International Policy Network, a global think tank based in London, called on APEC leaders to lead by example, saying:
“One year ago, the 21 APEC countries committed themselves to reject new protectionist measures – but since then, 18 of those countries have enacted new trade barriers. If the APEC countries fail to abide by the stern statements they issue during APEC summits, why even bother?”
van Gelder explained that APEC member countries have reaped the benefits of free trade policies:
“By eliminating trade barriers, APEC countries spawned two decades of economic development, investment and growth. Governments should not throw the baby out with the bath water. In the midst of a global economic downturn, free trade policies are even more important and will continue to generate growth and prosperity.” he said.
“Now is not the time for platitudes,” concluded van Gelder. “APEC countries must put words into action and tackle protectionist rot at the source.”
van Gelder is co-author of a new policy briefing paper, “Combating Protectionism and Boosting Growth at APEC 2009 Singapore Summit”, available on IPN’s website:
International Policy Network (www.policynetwork.net) is a global think tank based in London. IPN seeks to encourage better public understanding of the role of the institutions of the free society in social and economic development, and works with likeminded thinkers and partner organizations in over 70 countries.