President Joe Biden on Thursday addressed a gathering of business leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in San Francisco, where he emphasized the importance of workers’ rights and maintaining stable relations with China, despite ongoing tensions between the two countries.
Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and its support for a free and open rules-based order.
He also stressed the importance of working together to address common challenges, such as climate change and economic inequality.
On the issue of workers’ rights, Biden said that the United States would continue to advocate for strong labor standards in trade agreements.
He also called on businesses to take steps to ensure that their supply chains are free of forced labor and other abuses.
On China, Biden said that the United States was seeking to manage competition with China in a way that was “responsible and productive.”
He said that the United States would continue to engage with China on issues of mutual interest, while also standing up for its values and interests.
Biden’s remarks were met with mixed reactions from business leaders. Some praised his focus on workers’ rights and his commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. Others expressed concern about his tough stance on China, which they feared could further strain relations between the two countries.
Overall, Biden’s speech at the APEC CEO Summit was an attempt to strike a balance between promoting American interests and reassuring regional partners of the United States’ commitment to the region. It remains to be seen whether his efforts will be successful in easing tensions and fostering cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.