US President Barack Obama laid out his vision Sunday of a “seamless” trans-Pacific trade zone that could re-energise global growth, boosted by Japan and now Canada’s entry into talks.
Opening a regional summit in his native Hawaii, Obama said harnessing the huge trade potential of the dynamic region was vital as he wooed countries from across the Pacific Rim into the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership #TPP#.
The details of the agreement remain vague and opposition has already built in several countries but it could become the biggest free trade zone in the world, dwarfing even the European Union.
“Today we have got a chance to make progress towards our ultimate goal which is a seamless regional economy,” Obama told the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation #APEC# forum, which accounts for more than half the world’s GDP.
“I want to emphasise that the Asia-Pacific region is absolutely critical to America’s economic growth,” Obama said.
“We consider it a top priority. And we consider it a top priority because we’re not going to be able to put our folks back to work and grow our economy and expand opportunity unless the Asia-Pacific region is also successful.”