Today President Joseph R. Biden Jr. participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Virtual Leaders’ Retreat, hosted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand.
President Biden welcomed the opportunity to directly engage with APEC Leaders. He underscored the importance the United States places on the region, noting that we are a Pacific nation and vowing that the United States will remain deeply engaged in the region for generations to come. President Biden emphasized the importance of multilateral cooperation and reiterated his commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. He put forward a vision for the region that is affirmative, values-based, and transparent.
President Biden articulated the U.S. approach for ending the pandemic and outlined our global vaccine strategy, whereby the U.S. is donating more than half a billion safe and effective vaccines to more than 100 countries in need around the world, several of which are APEC economies. He made clear that the United States is donating our vaccines, not selling them, and underscored the importance of not attaching any political or economic conditions to the provision of vaccines. Our singular goal remains saving lives. President Biden also discussed the importance of investing in better global health security and preparedness so that we are ready the next time we face a pandemic.
On the global economic recovery, President Biden reaffirmed the U.S. interest in serving as a strong, reliable partner to APEC economies as we pursue sustained and inclusive growth. He discussed ways to unleash the economic power of the region and to deepen U.S. economic engagement throughout the Indo-Pacific, including through the recently announced Build Back Better World partnership, which will provide high-standard, climate-aligned, and transparently financed infrastructure to APEC economies that need support.