Good morning. Thank you for hosting me virtually.
Foreign Minister Motegi, it is great to see you again and thank you for hosting Secretary Pompeo earlier this month. Congratulations also to Prime Minister Suga.
Mr. Hirano, Mr. Robbins, thank you both for your leadership and work to build prosperity across our two nations, especially in light of COVID-19. Our close cooperation to combat the pandemic has been critical. I am confident that our work together will have us emerge from this crisis stronger and more resilient.
If there has been a key lesson from this pandemic it is that working, trading, and allying with partners that share values and interests is more important than ever.
In that context, we believe that the U.S.-Japan Alliance has been the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity for the Indo-Pacific region for decades. Our alliance has kept trade routes open, prevented conflict, and allowed us to share cutting edge technologies.
And as we continue to renew our partnership, we will together ensure its relevance and benefits for decades to come. I am proud of our recent achievements:
The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement entered into force this year and dramatically reduces barriers to trade. As one example, it allows over 90 percent of U.S. food and agricultural products imported into Japan duty free or with preferential trade access.
The U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement that we signed a year ago parallels the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement as a comprehensive and high-standard agreement addressing digital trade barriers. The agreement drives shared prosperity and ensures our businesses will continue to lead the world in innovation.
The United States and Japan have also been building linkages across the Indo-Pacific to protect and promote our shared peace and prosperity.
Foremost, in this effort has been Tokyo’s recent hosting of the foreign ministers from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States for a meeting of the Quad – four democratic anchors in an Indo-Pacific region buffeted by changing winds and shifting currents.
As our nations regularize cooperation under this rubric, our democracies serve as the voices of nearly a quarter of the world’s population. Together, we have immense potential to build and promote an Indo-Pacific that guarantees sovereignty and prosperity for all nations in the region.
Beyond the Indo-Pacific, we are cooperating with Japan to expand shared interests and values globally. We are collaborating to promote intellectual property rights at the World Intellectual Property Organization. And we work together at the OECD and the International Civil Aviation Organization to ensure transparency and a level playing field.
Our cooperation even extends to the stars. Our joint work on the International Linear Collider project has the potential to unlock knowledge about the origins of the universe. And on October 13th, the United States and Japan, together with six other countries signed the Artemis Accords outlining principles for the peaceful exploration of the moon, Mars, and beyond.
Thank you again for hosting me today and thank you for the invaluable work you do to build our bilateral economic relationship.