Asia-Pacific summit ends without joint statement amid US-China tensions

Asia-Pacific summit ends without joint statement amid US-China tensions

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting concluded this weekend without a joint statement being issued, the first time in more than two decades. 

Bloomberg News reported on Sunday that a statement was not released because the U.S. and China failed to agree on its language. It was the first time since leaders began gathering for the annual meeting in 1993 that it did not end in a joint communique being issued. 

The development appears to be the latest signal that the trade war between the U.S. and China will not cease anytime soon.


“I don’t think it will come as a huge surprise that there are differing visions on particular elements in regard to trade,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a press conference. 

“That prevented there from being a full consensus on the communique document.”

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill added that reforms from the World Trade Organization (WTO) were the main reason for the dispute between the nations that attended the meeting.

Bloomberg reported that O'Neill said countries other than the U.S. and China expressed concerns with the topic of reforms. 

A U.S. official told Bloomberg that it would be inaccurate for China to assert that a communique wasn't issued because America voiced issues with the WTO. 

The official said that China had expressed issue with a pledge from governments to fight “all unfair trade practices." China viewed the statement as one that was singling them out. 

China and the U.S. have exchanged billions in retaliatory tariffs this year. President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE said last Friday that China is interested in making a trade deal with the U.S., but noted that the countries have to have "reciprocal trade." 

"We can’t have trade that’s meant for stupid people, and that’s the way they took advantage of our country," he said.