Yellen says APEC finance ministers agree to expand output sustainably

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that finance ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries on Monday affirmed their desire to expand their economies’ potential output in a sustainable manner.

“APEC members have affirmed a shared interest in pursuing policies that expand the productive capacity of our economies while also achieving outcomes like reducing inequality and protecting the environment,” Yellen said in prepared remarks following a meeting of the ministers ahead of the APEC leaders’ summit in San Francisco.

She said that APEC countries are pursuing similar policies to the Biden administration’s recent legislation to promote investment in infrastructure, semiconductors and clean energy technologies and scientific research.

Yellen also said that the Treasury is actively engaged in “ongoing work” to reach substantial conclusion of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework talks with 13 other countries, most of them APEC member.

“This would be a monumental achievement for IPEF members, addressing issues from climate change to supply chain security,” Yellen said, without indicating whether she expected such an outcome. “And since IPEF members collectively account for 40 percent of global GDP, it would be significant for the global economy as well.”

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)