Washington: The United States and a group of Asian allies on Friday agreed on a set of negotiating goals, particularly trade and supply chains, as Washington seeks to offer an alternative to China’s economic power in the region.Indo-Pacific Economic Prosperity Framework (IPEF) At its first ministerial meeting, officials outlined the basis for common standards across key pillars, including green energy and fighting corruption, across 14 countries representing 40% of the global economy.
“IPEF will create jobs in the United States and we are confident it will create jobs in other IPEF member countries,” US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimond said at the end of the meeting. “We were able to finalize all four ministerial statements that set out the full scope of the framework and provide a roadmap for future discussions.” it wasn’t. This comes years after former President Donald Trump separated the United States from a much more comprehensive and hard-won regional trade bloc.
Since then, without Washington, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been hailed as a “quality” deal that provides a real bulwark to China’s economic might. But the Joe Biden administration has opted not to rejoin the free trade deal amid growing wariness in US public opinion over the free trade deal, which is seen as a threat to US jobs.
IPEF includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Raimond acknowledged that India had not signed an agreement on trade and the digital economy, but praised the “consensus and commitment among all members”.
Business leaders attending the meeting said the framework agreed upon during the two days of negotiations was of value given the lack of a robust agreement like the TPP. “We were very supportive of the TPP, but we just moved on and it’s realistic now,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity, with the focus on “getting the best possible deal.” He added that there is
“If the US is no longer in the region, that’s a risk,” said the person, noting that Beijing has frequently dangled indulgences to regional players in the form of infrastructure support.
“Their support comes with strings attached, and in the long run, it could hurt U.S. businesses in the region hard.” Can include other countries, but not Taiwan. – AFP