TOKYO ( Associated Press) – President Joe Biden is set to launch a new Indo-Pacific trade deal on Monday, signaling American dedication to the region and the need for stability in commerce caused by the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. designed to address.
The White House says the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will help the United States and Asian economies to work more closely on issues including supply chains, digital trade, clean energy, worker safety and anti-corruption efforts. The details still require negotiation among member states, making it difficult for the administration to say how the framework can deliver on its promise to help American workers and businesses while meeting global needs.
The countries signing the framework were to be announced on Monday during Biden’s visit to Tokyo for talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. It is the latest move by the Biden administration in an effort to preserve and broaden US influence in a region that until recently was under increasing Chinese influence.
Biden is in the middle of a five-day visit to South Korea and Japan – his presidency’s first visit to Asia – which ends on Tuesday. The White House in October announced plans to build an economic framework as a replacement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the US pulled out in 2017 under then-President Donald Trump.
The new agreement comes at a time when the administration believes it has a competitive edge with Beijing. Bloomberg Economics published a report last week that pegs US GDP growth at around 2.8% in 2022 compared to 2% for China, which is trying to contain the coronavirus through strict lockdowns while tackling an asset bust. Is. The slowdown has weakened the notion that China will automatically oust the US as the world’s leading economy.
“The fact that the United States will grow faster than China this year, for the first time since 1976, is a very compelling example of how countries in the region should approach the question of trends and trajectories,” the White House said. Said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
Critics say the framework has shortcomings. It does not provide incentives to potential partners by lowering tariffs or giving signatories greater access to US markets. Those limitations may not make the US framework an attractive alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which continued even after the US exited. China, the biggest trading partner for many in the region, also wants to join the TPP.
“I think a lot of participants are going to look at that list and say: ‘That’s a good list of issues. I’m happy to be on it,'” said International Economics Council during President Barack Obama’s administration on the National Security Council. Matthew Goodman, former director of the U.S., said. But he added that they might also ask, “Are we going to get any tangible benefits from participating in this framework?”
It is possible for countries to be part of both trade deals.
Biden’s first stop on Monday was a private meeting with Emperor Naruhito of Japan in the Imperial Palace’s lush grounds on Monday, about trade, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the North Korean nuclear threat, both countries. Had extensive conversations with Kishida. ‘ COVID-19 responses and more.
Kishida and Biden will also meet with the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago. The Japanese prime minister last took office and is looking to strengthen ties with the US and build a personal relationship with Biden. He will host the President at a restaurant for dinner.
The launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, also known as IPEF, marks one of the big moments of Biden’s visit to Asia by the White House and his ongoing effort to strengthen ties with Pacific allies. Billed in. Through all this, administration officials have kept a close eye on China’s growing economic and military might in the region.
In September the US announced a new partnership with Australia and the UK called AUKUS, which aims to further deepen security, diplomatic and defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Through that AUKUS partnership, Australia will purchase nuclear-powered submarines, and the US is to increase rotational force deployments in Australia.
The US president has also paid much attention to the informal coalition known as the Quad, which was formed during the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed about 230,000 people. Biden and fellow coalition leaders, which also include Australia, India and Japan, are set to gather in Tokyo for their second in-person meeting in less than a year. The leaders have also made two video calls since Biden took office.
And earlier this month, Biden gathered representatives from nine of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Washington for a summit, the first by the organization in the US capital. Biden announced at the summit that the US would invest about $150 million in clean energy and infrastructure initiatives in ASEAN countries.
Sullivan confirmed on Sunday that Taiwan – which had sought membership in the IPEF framework – is not among the governments to join. The participation of the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, would have upset Beijing.
Sullivan said the US is looking to deepen its economic partnership with Taiwan, including on high technology issues and semiconductor supply on a one-to-one basis.
Biden will hold his five-day quad meeting in Asia on Tuesday and one-on-one talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Anthony Albanese, the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia.
The centre-left leader of the Australian Labor Party this weekend defeated incumbent Scott Morrison and ended nine years of Conservative rule.
Modi, the leader of the world’s largest democracy, has refused to join the US and other allies in imposing sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In a video call last month, Biden asks Modi not to expedite purchases of Russian oil.