San Francisco, California
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Dominic, for your leadership and for the work that you have been doing as the head of the APEC Business Advisory Council and all you have done throughout your career to lift up so many communities.
Good afternoon to everyone. And welcome to all the APEC leaders and the CEOs who are here. As Dominic mentioned, in Singapore two years ago, I had the privilege of announcing that the United States intended to host APEC in 2023. And then last year, as I represented the United States in Bangkok at APEC, I announced that San Francisco would be the host city. And today, it is my privilege, then, to warmly welcome all of you to my home state of California.
As Vice President, it has been my honor to work with many of you across my four trips to the Indo-Pacific and dozens of bilateral and multilateral meetings and summits. And this week, we continue with these important conversations.
The Indo-Pacific region is critical to the security and prosperity of the American people, and the United States has an enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific, including a vital interest in promoting a region that is open, interconnected, prosperous, secure, and resilient.
As Joe Pr- — Joe Biden has said and made clear, the Biden-Harris administration is committed to strengthening our multilateral engagement in the region, including through APEC.
In addition, APEC economies represent significant opportunities for the American economy. These relationships expand our ability to increase markets for U.S. exports, to create jobs in the United States, and to build inclusive economic growth. Of all the goods that the United States exports, more than 60 percent go to APEC economies, and APEC economies represent more than 60 percent of the world’s GDP.
APEC also plays an important role to strengthen international economic rules and norms, to promote free and fair markets, create predictability and stability for our companies, and to protect workers’ rights.
The Biden-Harris administration has also emphasized public-private collaboration both domestically and internationally. When we combine the expertise and the experience of the private sector with the reach and capacity of the public sector, we unleash economic growth and opportunity that far exceeds what either the private or public sector could achieve on its own.
From Tokyo to Singapore to Silicon Valley, I have convened CEOs on issues that range from supply chain resilience to the growth of the semiconductor production facilities.
I have also led partnerships with the private sector focused on economic opportunity in northern Central America and climate resilience and digital inclusion on the continent of Africa. This type of collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential — essential to drive our economies forward in a way that invests in innovation, strengthens economies, and uplifts the human condition.
Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, we have incentivized Indo-Pacific companies to invest nearly $200 billion in the United States. Under President Joe Biden, we have record job creation, a revitalized manufacturing industry, resilient consumer spending, and unprecedented small-business creation.
History has shown that the United States has been an engine of global economic growth, and this will continue. And of course, the entire Indo-Pacific benefits.
In fact, American businesses are the largest source of foreign direct investment in APEC economies; they invest more than six times the amount of any other country.
And today, President Biden announced that U.S. companies have committed an additional $50 billion of investment in the APEC economies, ranging from digital infrastructure to clean energy.
This week, we will also discuss mutual challenges and opportunities for our economies, including the climate crisis, the economic empowerment of women, and artificial intelligence.
The climate crisis is without a doubt an existential crisis that requires urgent action. The President and I have worked to execute the most aggressive climate agenda in American history as part of our global commitments. Over the last three years, we have dedicated $1 trillion to build climate-resilient infrastructure and foster a clean energy economy.
And to all here I say: Our collective ambition must meet this moment. There is much more work for us to all do and for the governments and companies that are represented here today.
Regarding the economic empowerment of women: When we lift up the economic status of women, we lift up the economic status of children, families, and all of society benefits. The United States proudly launched APEC’s focus on this issue during our last host year, which was in 2011. It remains a priority for us.
To that end, earlier today, I announced more than $900 million of public and private investments to launch the Women in Sustainable Economy Initiative. And in the past eight months, I have partnered with the private sector and philanthropies to generate more than $2 billion to economically empower women around the world.
On the issue of artificial intelligence, which has without any question the potential to do great good and the potential to do harm, it is important that we work together.
Earlier this month, I met with many leaders in the United Kingdom to lay the groundwork on the future of AI. As I outlined there, leaders from government and the private sector have a moral, ethical, and societal duty to make sure that AI is adopted and advanced in a way that is in service of the public interest.
We must address the full spectrum of risks, from bias and discrimination already being experienced by individuals and communities to the catastrophic risks that could endanger all of humanity. The Biden-Harris administration is taking steps to address all these risks in a way that will not stifle innovation. It is my intention that the approach I laid out in the United Kingdom can help guide the discussions today.
In each of these areas and across our economic agenda, our commitment to workers at home and abroad remains a priority. And today, the United States launched our first Global Labor Strategy to expand our commitment to workers and make clear workers’ rights are central to our international economic strategy. Building an inclusive economy requires empowering workers both here in America and abroad.
In conclusion, I thank you all for being here and for your partnership in our interconnected and interdependent world. Convenings like these are critical to ensure prosperity and security for all our economies.
And with that, I will turn it back to Dominic. Thank you. (Applause.)