Little do most people know in the US but we are members to over 50 organiztons in this world. And they deal with anything from world health to world trade. The only thing that can make our nations prosperous is our trade. Currently the Pacific Rim is the most diverse trade market the US is involved in. APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) represents 47% of the world s trade and 53% of the world population, this is the US s trade organization in this region. Currently, APEC is trying to make the Pacific Rim a free trade region, kind of like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), so the US has got to decide if it wants to putt all it s efforts in with APEC or another organization.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies. Begun as an informal dialogue group, APEC has since become the primary regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic cooperation. Its goal is to advance Asia-Pacific economic dynamism and sense of community. Despite the financial instability of 1997-98, the Asia-Pacific remains one of the fastest growing regions in the world. It is a major contributor to global prosperity and stability. Today, APEC includes all the major economies of the region and the most dynamic, fastest growing economies in the world. APEC's 21 member economies had a combined Gross Domestic Product of over US$16 trillion in 1995 and 44 percent of global trade.

What APEC means to the US can be summed up best by Richard A. Boucher the US ambassador to APEC:

It is an understatement to say that the APEC region is important to U.S. interests. The region holds partners for us in key issues such as security, trade, and the environment to name only a few. And even though APEC is an economic forum, our active participation in it bolsters our ability to achieve our broader foreign policy goals.

For the United States, APEC is not an end in itself, but a means to advance a number of key objectives that incorporate our economic, political, and security interests. APEC helps anchor the United States in Asia. It reinforces multilateral and bilateral efforts to open markets. It provides high-level interaction with countries like China, Japan, and those in Southeast Asia. It can help build safe and efficient capital markets. APEC helps ensure growth in Asia is environmentally sustainable. And APEC facilitates business, which creates opportunities for U.S. businesses and their products and services.

What we do in APEC is especially important to U.S. business. It is the energy of the private sector that drives the region, and in APEC we strive to make it easier for business to do business -- to seize opportunities. One of the stories of the Asia-Pacific region is opportunity. In the past decades the economies of this region, including ours, have created enormous opportunities for their people -- opportunities to trade, opportunities to start businesses, and opportunities to prosper. Through APEC, we are lowering barriers, opening markets, and creating further opportunities.

I would like to use this as my research topic because it is a viable option for the US to do to advance in prosperity across the world and help bring our trading partners up with us.

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