APEC sherpa’s and trade officials meet in PNG to prepare for upcoming leaders summit

APEC sherpa’s and trade officials meet in PNG to prepare for upcoming leaders summit

Senior APEC sherpas will meet in Port Moresby today to find pathways for ministers and leaders of the 21 member

Ministers gather for a group photo after the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit leaders meetings in Danang

Photo: Reuters/Made Nagi

Senior APEC sherpas will meet in Port Moresby today to find pathways for ministers and leaders of the 21 member countries to ease frictions over trade barriers when they meet in the coming weeks.

The meeting comes amidst a trade war between the two largest APEC economies, China and the United States, and tit-for-tat exchange of tariffs between Washington and other major APEC economies, including Canada and Japan. The trade disputes between the members risk a repeat of the angry exchanges at the end of the G7 summit in June.

The Port Moresby meeting may provide an opportunity for agreement in relation to improving “next-generation” trade agreements in relation to services, data-privacy, and digital infrastructure. President Trump has long railed against Chinese intellectual property theft and compulsory technology transfer conditions for American companies in China, while Beijing has been more open to reaching a deal to break the impasse. Consensus between Beijing and Washington would be a major confidence boost to other APEC economies. Expect a roadmap to start being inked with the aim of diffusing wider trade spats between Beijing and Washington at the APEC leaders summit in November.

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