U.S. President Barack Obama will be among the leaders meeting in Singapore this month for a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The twenty-one members of APEC, as the group is known, create more than half of the world's gross domestic product.
The meeting comes in the shadow of a deep international recession. The global financial crisis has led some countries to try to protect their home markets from competition. In September, the United States hiked tariffs on tires made in China. In response, China just imposed steep duties on imports of an industrial chemical, adipic acid, made in the West.
Are international trading partners headed for more conflicts, raising more barriers to global commerce? Or will the APEC meeting have any success building momentum for free trade? We will discuss these and other questions on this edition of On The Line.