Enhancing energy security and clean development. The Administration has worked with trading partners and energy producers to expand the types and sources of energy, to open markets and strengthen the rule of law, and to foster private investment that can help develop the energy needed to meet global demand. In addition, we have:
• Worked with industrialized and emerging nations on hydrogen, clean coal, and advanced nuclear technologies; and
• Joined with Australia, China, India, Japan, and the ROK in forming the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate to accelerate deployment of clean technologies to enhance energy security, reduce poverty, and reduce pollution.
Several challenges remain:
• Protectionist impulses in many countries put at risk the benefits of open markets and impede the expansion of free and fair trade and economic growth.
• Nations that lack the rule of law are prone to corruption, lack of transparency, and poor governance. These nations frustrate the economic aspirations of their people by failing to promote entrepreneurship, protect intellectual property, or allow their citizens access to vital investment capital.
• Many countries are too dependent upon foreign oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.
• Economic integration spreads wealth across the globe, but also makes local economies more subject to global market conditions.
• Some governments restrict the free flow of capital, subverting the vital role that wise investment can play in promoting economic growth. This denies investments, economic opportunity, and new jobs to the people who need them most.
C. The Way Ahead
Economic freedom is a moral imperative. The liberty to create and build or to buy, sell, and own property is fundamental to human nature and foundational to a free society. Economic freedom also reinforces political freedom. It creates diversified centers of power and authority that limit the reach of government. It expands the free flow of ideas; with increased trade and foreign investment comes exposure to new ways of thinking and living which give citizens more control over their own lives.
To continue extending liberty and prosperity, and to meet the challenges that remain, our strategy going forward involves:
1. Opening markets and integrating developing countries.
While most of the world affirms in principle the appeal of economic liberty, in practice too many nations hold fast to the false comforts of subsidies and trade barriers. Such distortions of the market stifle growth in developed countries, and slow the escape from poverty in developing countries. Against these short-sighted impulses, the United States promotes the enduring vision of a global economy that welcomes all participants and encourages the voluntary exchange of goods and services based on mutual benefit, not favoritism.
We will continue to advance this agenda through the WTO and through bilateral and regional FTAs.
• The United States will seek completion of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. A successful Doha agreement will expand opportunities for Americans and for others around the world. Trade and open markets will empower citizens in developing countries to improve their lives, while reducing the opportunities for corruption that afflict state-controlled economies.
• We will continue to work with countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam on the market reforms needed to join the WTO. Participation in the WTO brings opportunities as well as obligations – to strengthen the rule of law and honor the intellectual property rights that sustain the modern knowledge economy, and to remove tariffs, subsidies, and other trade barriers that distort global markets and harm the world’s poor.
• We will advance MEFTA by completing and bringing into force FTAs for Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates and through other initiatives to expand open trade with and among countries in the region.
• In Africa, we are pursuing an FTA with the countries of the Southern African Customs Union: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland.
• In Asia, we are pursuing FTAs with Thailand, the ROK, and Malaysia. We will also continue to work closely with China to ensure it honors its WTO commitments and protects intellectual property.
• In our own hemisphere, we will advance the vision of a free trade area of the Americas by building on North American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA-DR, and the FTA with Chile. We will complete and bring into force FTAs with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Panama.
2. Opening, integrating, and diversifying energy markets to ensure energy independence.
Most of the energy that drives the global economy comes from fossil fuels, especially petroleum. The United States is the world’s third largest oil producer, but we rely on international sources to supply more than 50 percent of our needs. Only a small number of countries make major contributions to the world’s oil supply.
The world’s dependence on these few suppliers is neither responsible nor sustainable over the long term. The key to ensuring our energy security is diversity in the regions from which energy resources come and in the types of energy resources on which we rely.
• The Administration will work with resource-rich countries to increase their openness, transparency, and rule of law. This will promote effective democratic governance and attract the investment essential to developing their resources and expanding the range of energy suppliers.
• We will build the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership to work with other nations to develop and deploy advanced nuclear recycling and reactor technologies. This initiative will help provide reliable, emission-free energy with less of the waste burden of older technologies and without making available separated plutonium that could be used by rogue states or terrorists for nuclear weapons. These new technologies will make possible a dramatic expansion of safe, clean nuclear energy to help meet the growing global energy demand.
• We will work with international partners to develop other transformational technologies such as clean coal and hydrogen. Through projects like our FutureGen initiative, we seek to turn our abundant domestic coal into emissions-free sources of electricity and hydrogen, providing our economies increased power with decreased emissions.
• On the domestic front, we are investing in zero-emission coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and wind technologies; clean, safe nuclear energy; and cuttingedge methods of producing ethanol.