President Trump To Attend APEC Summit, Official Says

President Trump To Attend APEC Summit, Official Says

The pair will be at a meeting of the leaders of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) hosted virtually by Malaysia, just two weeks after Mr Trump lost his re-election bid.

Providing he shows up - Trump is strongly inclined to last-minute changes of plan - the president's attendance at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting likely marks his last flourish on the worldwide stage as president, following his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden at the presidential election on November 3.

Trump withdrew the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with the region which was a key part of predecessor Barack Obama's so-called "pivot" to Asia, in January 2017.

This year's Apec gatherings come a week after China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's biggest free-trade pact.

"Apec must continue to commit to keeping markets open and trade flowing", she said.

Adding further doubt was Trump's failure to attend a series of high-level virtual summits with his Asian counterparts last week, including the East Asia Summit and a special meeting as part of the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

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"Japan will aspire for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific through the early conclusion of the RCEP agreement and the steady implementation and expansion of the CPTPP as next year's chair", Suga said.

"Trump would, of course, take this opportunity to present himself as a sitting president for domestic political advantage", he told AFP.

Xi also called for stronger policy coordination among global communities and said globalisation is "irreversible" and that China will not engage in "de-coupling". While the Obama administration coordinated the painstaking negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, Trump withdrew from the pact days after taking office in 2017. The only time he has joined an Apec summit - held annually - was in 2017.

Mr Xi also used Thursday's Apec speech to deny that China would be pulling away from other economies - known as decoupling - and warn against protectionism.

"Trade has been the engine of growth and prosperity in APEC since it was founded 30 years ago", New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

At the last Apec summit in 2018, member countries failed to agree on a joint communique for the first time in the bloc's history as the United States and China disagreed on trade and investments.

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