YOHOHAMA, Japan (AP) — President Barack Obama appealed to Asian leaders Saturday for greater access to fast-growing markets, proclaiming "the United States is here to stay" and its prosperity is tied inextricably to the fate of its Pacific trading partners.
"America is leading again in Asia," Obama told a gathering of chief executives at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, stressing anew his goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years. "For America, this is a jobs strategy," the president said. "In this region, the United States sees a huge opportunity to increase our exports in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world."
At the same time, Obama said that healthy competition need not cause ruptures in relationships between and among nations.
"There's no need to view trade, commerce or economic growth as zero sum games, where one country always has to prosper at the expense of another," the president said.
Obama's speech came on his first full day in Japan, following a divisive G-20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, where he failed to win the backing of other international leaders for a get-tough policy toward China over on its currency stance and also missed his goal of reaching agreement with longtime ally South Korea on a new free-trade pact.
But Obama told his audience he was pleased that the U.S. lead was followed in Seoul on the agreement by his summit partners on the development of a culture of greater vigilance by which global leaders can avoid the conditions and practices that caused the near economic-meltdown two years ago.
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