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Trump to APEC Summit: 'I Am Always Going to Put America First'

© AP Photo / Mark SchiefelbeinU.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit at the Aryana Convention Center in Danang, Vietnam, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit at the Aryana Convention Center in Danang, Vietnam, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 - Sputnik International
US President Donald Trump has delivered a keynote speech at the 2017 APEC CEO summit hosted in Da Nang, Vietnam on November 10-11.

The US president has underlined that current Washington trade policy will be focused on the county's interests. According to Trump, the United States will insist on fair and equal trade policies.

The president has explained his stance by saying that the current trade imbalance was not acceptable.

"I do not blame China or any other country of which there are many for taking advantage of the US. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs. I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it. They did not, but I will. From now on, we will compete on a fair and equal basis, we are not going to let the US be taken advantage of anymore," Trump added.

READ MORE: Trump: Talks With Xi Jingping — 'Productive', Previous US Officials — 'Clueless'

The United States is open for bilateral deals with any Indo-Pacific nation on a fair basis and is not interested in multilateral agreements, he added.

"I'm always going to put America first, the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first, the US is prepared to work with each of the leaders in this room today to achieve mutually beneficial commerce. That is the message I'm here to deliver. I will make bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade. What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands," Trump said.

READ MORE: Analysts Explain How China May Respond to US Push to Militarize Asia-Pacific

Trump has also stated that the whole world was being lifted by America's economic renewal and that a "new optimism" has swept across the United States since he was elected president.

"The whole world is lifted by America's renewal," he said.

The president expressed the US commitment to friendly relations and partnership with the Indo-Pacific nations.

"We've been friends, partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific for long long time and we will be friends, partners and allies for a long time to come… What the countries and economies represented here today have built in this part of the world in nothing short of miraculous. The story of this region in recent decades is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future," Trump said.

However, he stated that the country hoped for reciprocity and expected the markets to be open on both sides.

"I’m here today to offer a new partnership with America to work together to strengthen the bonds of friendship and commerce with all of the nations of the Indo-Pacific, and together to promote our prosperity and security. And the core of this partnership we seek robust trade relationships, rooted in the principles of fairness and reciprocity. When the US enters into trade relations with other countries and other peoples, we will from now on expect that our partners follow rules that I've just put. We expect the markets to be open to an equal degree on both sides," he said.

North Korea's "Dictatorship"

According to US President Donald Trump, the Asia-Pacific region was being held hostage by the "twisted fantasies" of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, urging countries to stand united "declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger."

"The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail," he said.

The statement echoes his latest stance, demanding that China and Russia downgrade diplomatic relations and cut economic ties with Pyongyang, prompting Beijing's response that it fully complies with its commitments with regard to the North Korean crisis. During the press conference with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on November 9, the US president underlined that " We must act fast. And, hopefully, China will act faster and more effectively than anyone."

READ MORE: Trump and Putin Will Not Have Separate Meeting at APEC — White House

Typhoon Damrey

US citizens are praying for the Vietnamese affected by Typhoon Damrey and for their recovery, Trump stated.

"Before we begin, I want to address all those affected by typhoon Damrey. Americans are praying for you, for your recovery in the months ahead. Our hearts are united with the Vietnamese people suffering in the aftermath of this terrible storm," he said.

A strong typhoon struck Vietnam on November 4, causing floods and landslides. Damrey was the 12th typhoon to hit Vietnam this year. According to the Vietnamese government, as of November 8, the typhoon had left 91 people dead and over 20 others missing. The typhoon completely destroyed nearly 1,500 houses and damaged about 120,000 others. On November 7, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced the order by Russian President Vladimir Putin to allocate $5 million for Vietnam emergency relief.

The United States itself has been hit by several hurricanes in recent months. The losses are estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The US states of Texas and Florida have been particularly affected by the natural disasters.

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2017 APEC Forum - Sputnik International
2017 APEC Forum

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