United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo hosted counterparts from the 13 Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) partner countries—representing over 40 percent of the global economy—at the first official in-person ministerial meeting.
The ministers were said to have had positive and constructive discussions and announced a substantial milestone in their pursuit of a high-standard and inclusive economic framework.
“This meeting was a chance to deepen our partnerships and fill in the details about how we will work collectively to address the challenges and opportunities that will define the 21st century,” Tai said. “After several days of intensive discussions, we have made real progress toward that goal and I am excited to continue developing this framework, which will unlock enormous economic value for our region and serve as a model for the rest of the world to follow.”
The framework will advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness for the economies. Through IPEF, the partners aim to contribute to cooperation, stability, prosperity, development and peace within the region. The framework will also offer tangible benefits that fuel economic activity and investment, promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth and benefit workers and consumers across the region. The 14 IPEF partners represent 40 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 28 percent of global goods and services trade.
“Our first in-person meeting has been an undeniable success,” Raimondo said. “This week, 14 countries came together to chart a path forward that will create economic opportunity, improve labor conditions, and promote sustainability for all of our economies. Just as importantly, this ministerial gave us an opportunity to show that we can deliver concrete and tangible economic benefits for partner countries while pursuing an inclusive and high standard framework at the same time. I am proud of the progress we’ve made and I’m excited to continue building momentum in this effort.”
Since its launch in May launch, IPEF countries have engaged in intensive discussions to scope out each pillar of the framework. At the conclusion of the “Senior Officials and Ministerial” meetings, the partners reached consensus on statements for each of the four IPEF pillars: trade, supply chain, clean economy and fair economy.
On the trade front, the IPEF partners will seek high-standard provisions in areas that are foundational to resilient, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, including labor, environment, digital economy, agriculture, transparency and good regulatory practices, competition, inclusivity, trade facilitation, and technical assistance and economic development. The United States and the IPEF partners will seek high-standard provisions that benefit workers and ensure free and fair trade that contributes to promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth and that meaningfully contribute to environmental protection.
The partners intend to advance inclusive digital trade by building an environment of trust and confidence in the digital economy, by addressing discriminatory practices, and by promoting trusted and secure cross-border data flows. They will also seek to advance food security and sustainable agricultural practices and the benefits of good regulatory practices in supporting good governance and will work towards harnessing best practices with respect to facilitating trade.
On the supply chain front, the countries will seek to coordinate actions to mitigate and prevent future supply chain disruptions and secure critical sectors and key products for our manufacturers. The U.S. will work with IPEF partners to identify sectors and products critical to their national security, economic resilience, and the health and safety of its citizens, and then act collectively to increase the resilience of these sectors, creating jobs and economic opportunities in key industries of the future.
Partners will identify sole sources and choke points in critical supply chains, and work collaboratively to address them by promoting and supporting investments in new physical and digital infrastructure. Partners will use data to improve supply chain logistics and invest in new training and development opportunities to upskill workers and ensure that all citizens share in the benefits of increased supply chain resilience.
In addition, the countries will seek to ensure that the work promotes the labor standards that underpin fair, sustainable and resilient supply chains.
On the clean energy front, the countries will work to expand investment opportunities, spur innovation and improve the livelihoods of citizens as the partners unlock the region’s abundant clean energy resources and substantial carbon sequestration potential. The partners aim to advance cooperation on clean energy and climate-friendly technologies, as well as mobilize investment and promote usage of low- and zero-emissions good and services.
This work will be part of a future-oriented effort to enhance energy security and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. The partners seek to promote just transitions with the active participation of our stakeholders, including the private sector, workers and local communities.
On the fair economy front, the countries will seek to level the playing field for businesses and workers within partner countries by preventing and combatting corruption, curbing tax evasion and enhancing transparency, recognizing the importance of fairness, inclusiveness, the rule of law, accountability and transparency. By innovating and strengthening shared approaches to implementing anticorruption and tax measures, the countries will aim to improve the investment climate and boost flows of commerce, trade and investments among their economies, while advancing a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
In May, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam began the process to establish the IPEF. Tai and Raimondo held the first virtual ministerial in May shortly after the official launch. They also held a virtual ministerial in July, which reaffirmed their collective goal to pursue ongoing and intensified engagements with IPEF partner countries.