Bush Seeks APEC Support for United Response to Crisis

Manila Bulletin, November 22, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Bush Seeks APEC Support for United Response to Crisis


WASHINGTON, DC (AP) - United States President George W. Bush embarks Friday on most likely his final foreign mission: Bolstering the nose-diving US economy by rallying Asia-Pacific nations behind a united response.

He is expected to emerge with modest gains, but world peers are peeking ahead to Barack Obama's administration.

In Lima, Peru, where the Pacific Rim leaders will be meeting at the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Bush will seek to broaden the roster of nations who support a global economic crisis plan fashioned last week by the G-20, a grouping of the world's richest countries and emerging powers.

The plan calls for vast cross-border cooperation restructuring financial markets, expanding membership in world oversight bodies, and preventing new barriers on trade in hopes of preventing the kind of economic mess now gripping the United States and much of the globe.

Nine of the 21 APEC countries already are part of that deal, and the others are likely to join in Peru through a group declaration.

From the White House perspective, any such broadening of support would help as countries take on the complicated work in the months ahead.

"I wouldn't expect a lot of news to be made on this trip," Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said Thursday.There is only so much a US president can do when his time is short, his successor has been elected, and his own country is long eager for change.

Bush, who leaves the White House on Friday morning for the APEC meeting, is expected to be on the ground in Peru for less than 48 hours. Barring an unannounced trip in the final days of his presidency, Bush's stop in South America will cap eight years of foreign travel in which he made 48 separate trips to more than 70 countries.

On the sidelines of the formal APEC meetings, Bush will hold individual sessions with the leaders of China, South Korea, Japan, Peru, and probably Russia. He also is scheduled to meet with Japanese and South Korean leaders together to review a multinational effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

Any APEC action on the economy will allow Bush to promote US leadership and underscore that he is trying hard to leave a better framework for Obama, the Democratic presidentelect, who takes office on Jan. 20.

The prospects of a global recession continue to overshadow every other topic. Government leaders have sought largely to avoid pointing fingers, but the United States continues to face blame, publicly expressed or not, for a shoddy housing market that mushroomed into a credit crisis and a global downturn.

GMA off to join other Pacific Rim leaders at annual APEC meet

By GENALYN KABILING

Championing the welfare of the poor economies ahead of the rich nations will be the main battle cry of President Arroyo when she meets with other Pacific Rim leaders in an annual summit in Lima, Peru, this weekend.

The President left yesterday to attend the 16th Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in Lima with a vow to shift the focus of attention to the poor amid the deepening global economic woes.

Mrs. Arroyo, along with several Cabinet members, lawmakers, and administrative and security staff, will make brief side trips to the United States and Colombia before she returns to Manila on Nov. 28.

Before leaving yesterday, the President vowed to encourage the world's top industrialized nations to take into account the developing economies in their efforts to contain the financial turmoil that threatens to pull the economy into a severe recession.

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