Over the past week, I attended the U.S.-hosted Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii. President Obama and the leaders from the other 20 APEC member economies advanced a number of ambitious and visionary initiatives to promote growth, competitiveness, innovation and prosperity across the Asia-Pacific region. At Qualcomm, we agree that open markets bolstered by non-discriminatory, pro-innovation policies will help to strengthen ties between the peoples, businesses and economies of APEC at a crucial time. Qualcomm specifically supports the APEC Leaders’ endorsement of an innovation agenda that embodies an array of commercially meaningful policies that encourage technological progress – such as strong intellectual property protection, technology- and business-model neutrality, reliance on voluntary global technical standards, and freedom of businesses to negotiate technology agreements.
We are also gratified that the 21 leaders agreed that their respective economies will play a leading role at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and expand the number of participants and scope of products for the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which eliminated tariffs on a wide range of IT products. This highly successful agreement was achieved in 1997, but has not kept pace with development and commercialization of new products and needs to be updated.
Qualcomm is also pleased to support the objectives of the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System and looks forward to working with the U.S. and APEC Member Economies on the implementation of this voluntary system over the next few years. Reducing barriers to information flows, enhancing consumer privacy, and promoting interoperability across regional data privacy regimes are goals of the CBPR which Qualcomm shares.
Finally, an important milestone was reached with the creation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently being negotiated by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. The agreement by President Obama and his counterparts on the broad outlines of the TPP is a welcome sign. Japan’s interest in joining the TPP, announced by Prime Minister Noda, is also a positive development. The inclusion of high-standard rules on market access, technical barriers, intellectual property, regulatory transparency, procedural aspects of competition policy, services and investment will ensure that the TPP, once completed, will be the model trade agreement for the 21st Century. We look forward to working with TPP negotiators from all participating economies to ensure state-of-the-art disciplines in all of the areas of importance to Qualcomm.