Bush urges against trade barriers

Speaking at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, outgoing President says protectionism is not the answer to global crisis.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Since the start of the recent market meltdown, how often do you check your 401(k) balance?
  • Once a day
  • Once a week
  • Once a month
  • I can't bear to look

LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- President George W. Bush, in what could be his final overseas trip as president, called on international leaders to continue his administration's push for free trade despite the global financial crisis.

"One of the enduring lessons of the Great Depression is that global protectionism is a path to global economic ruin," Bush told the annual meeting of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the capital, Lima.

"I recognize I'm leaving office in two months," Bush said as he discussed the Doha trade talks, which were launched in 2001 to help liberalize international trade policies, "but nevertheless this administration will push hard ... so that Doha can be completed and so we can send a message -- we refuse to accept protectionism in the 21st century."

Touting his record on free trade, Bush said, "Expanding trade and investment has been one of the highest priorities of my administration.

"When I took office, America had free trade agreements in force with only three nations. Today we have agreements in force with 14."

Bush said that during his administration, "America's trade with the world has grown from 2.5 to 4 trillion dollars -- an increase of 60 percent."

Among APEC member nations, he cited Chile and Peru as more than doubling their trade with the United States during his time in office, and trade with China more than tripling.

"Overall America's trade with APEC nations now accounts for nearly two thirds of our trade in the world," Bush said.

Bush chided the U.S. Congress, saying it was "extremely disappointing" that lawmakers adjourned without passing new trade agreements between the United States and Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

"I urge all those who support free trade to continue to press the case for the Congress to pass free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea," he said, drawing applause from his audience.

Referring to the global financial crisis, Bush said, "Recovering from the financial crisis is going to take time. But we'll recover, and in so doing begin a new era of prosperity. The nations of APEC have faced tests before. We have risen to meet them together and we will do so again."

Bush's attendance at the APEC meeting marked his eighth year of meeting with and speaking to economic leaders from a diverse group of countries ranging from Thailand to Mexico, Chile to China.

Bush came to the APEC meeting seeking to build on the results of a historic two-day meeting in Washington earlier this month attended by presidents and prime ministers from 20 countries. At that meeting, world leaders unveiled a set of sweeping plans aimed at tackling the ever-expanding economic crisis, which has roiled financial markets worldwide.

The final 3,600-word announcement from that Group of 20 meeting in Washington endorsed several stimulative measures, including interest rate cuts by central banks around the globe or potential economic stimulus packages.

Leaders who met in Washington also agreed not to raise new trade barriers over the next 12 months and vowed to reach a resolution on the Doha trade talks. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.