APEC leaders denounce protectionism

Sept. 8, 2012 at 9:52 AM
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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Heads of state at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation conference in Vladivostok, Russia, called for greater cooperation and balance regarding world trade.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the conference at what is known as Russia's gateway to the Asian Pacific.

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported Saturday that Putin called on the international community to "build bridges, not walls."

"The priority goal is to fight protectionism in all its forms. It is important to build bridges not walls," he said.

Clinton said the State Department was "working closely with the United States Congress to terminate the application to Jackson-Vanik," the law that bans normal trade relations with Russia and was put in place in 1974 to pressure Russia to allow more open emigration.

Many consider the law an anachronism, a relic of the Cold War. But Clinton said sentiment in Congress currently includes a negative reaction to Russia's relationships with Syria and Iran.

She also urged the APEC to give private businesses a greater voice in APEC decisions, RIA Novosti reported.

"The private sector needs to stand up for the system that will allow you to thrive over the long run," Clinton said.

President Hu said China's goals included increasing domestic demand for imports.

"We will work to maintain the balance between keeping steady and robust growth, adjusting the economic structure and managing inflation expectations. We will boost domestic demand and maintain steady and robust growth as well as basic price stability," Hu said.

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