Pacific summit stresses terrorism, trade

Oct. 27, 2002 at 4:29 PM
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LOS CABOS, BAJA CALIFORNIA, Mexico, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- After a summit dominated by the fight against global terrorism, leaders of the 21 countries gathered at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Baja California, Mexico, issued a statement Sunday afternoon promising "concrete steps" to maintain trade flows while increasing security.

Summarizing the statement, Mexican President Vicente Fox said: "We condemn in the strongest terms recent terrorist acts in the APEC region, and reaffirm our determination to enhance cooperation in countering and responding to terrorism."

Fox also emphasized the need to "maximize support for free and open trade" and to achieve "equitable" growth.

"We affirmed our commitment to a more inclusive world economy, notably through our individual and joint efforts on micro-enterprises, access to information, human capacity building, financing and health," said the leaders' statement.

In phrases that were implicitly critical of one APEC member -- the United States -- the statement urged "the abolition of all forms of agricultural export subsidies, and unjustifiable export prohibitions and restrictions."

This year, a new farm bill in the United States increased farm subsidies and the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush also provided tariffs for the struggling American steel industry, upsetting APEC members South Korea and Japan -- among others.

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