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PacNet #51 – The APEC Santiago Declaration: Steady Progress, New Challenges

Despite media reports that U.S. security concerns, especially North Korea, have come to dominate the APEC dialogue, the 12th APEC Leaders Meeting Nov. 20-21 in Santiago, Chile made clear that the 21 members have regional economic issues at the forefront of their agenda. The Santiago Declaration is noteworthy for a workman-like attention to economic issues great and small: attending to developing country concerns about capacity-building and access to the “knowledge society,” while also committing members to a successful completion of the WTO Doha Development Round (DDR). Critics of bilateral and sub-regional economic agreements will lament that the Declaration embraces these deals as “constructive in accelerating liberalization in the region,” but it also adopts measures to promote greater transparency in their effectiveness, scope, and consistency with WTO rules.