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U.S. working with Indo-Pacific partners to boost economic resilience: USTR

IPEF: We'll announce a number of deliverables soon, says U.S. trade representative

The United States is working very closely with its trading partners in the Indo-Pacific region to help build economic resilience, said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) initiative, launched in May last year by U.S. President Joe Biden, is looking to announce a number of initiatives soon, Tai told CNBC’s Martin Soong on the sidelines of the G7 trade ministers’ summit in Osaka, Japan.

“We are demonstrating the vision that we created with respect to the IMF, which is in a time of many economic challenges with the need to cooperate with our partners in the Indo-Pacific region to promote sustainability, resilience and inclusivity,” she said.

“We also know that we can’t wait around for five or seven years for a massive trade negotiation to be completed,” Tai said.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai speaks during the Axios BFD event in New York City, U.S., October 12, 2023. 

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

The IPEF is the Biden administration’s main economic strategy in Asia. Countries that have partnered the U.S. in this initiative are: Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The U.S.-led initiative is aimed at bolstering ties and engaging in crucial economic and trade matters among the member states. It is also seen as a means to counteract China in the region.

Tai said details of the initiatives for IPEF will be revealed during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next month in San Francisco, but did not provide further details.

Leaders from the U.S. and China have reportedly agreed to work toward an expected meeting at the APEC summit, after China’s President Xi Jinping’s absence at the annual Group of 20 summit in India.

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