APEC Ministers Affirm Importance of Free Trade

Economy

Tokyo, July 25 (Jiji Press)--Trade ministers from the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, including Japan, the United States and China, affirmed the importance of promoting free trade, at a teleconference on Saturday.

"We are committed to ensure that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19 are targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary, do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains," the APEC ministers said in a joint statement.

The ministers also agreed to avoid piling up within their countries drugs and other goods necessary for the fight against the novel coronavirus, and to work to strengthen supply chains.

The joint statement said "we reiterate our commitment to work to facilitate the flow of essential goods and services, enhance connectivity by strengthening supply chains resilience, and minimize disruptions to trade in medical goods, food and agriculture products."

At the teleconference, Japanese trade minister Hiroshi Kajiyama stressed that no country should lean toward protectionism even in the current coronavirus crisis.

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Jiji Press