The US and 12 countries join the new Indo-Pacific trade pact

TOKYO — President Joe Biden announced that 12 countries have joined a new trade pact that the White House says will help the United States work more closely with Asian economies on issues like supply chains, digital trade, clean energy and anti-corruption efforts to work together.

Signatories joining the US in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Together with the United States, they represent 40% of global GDP.

The countries said in a joint statement that the pact will help them “together prepare our economies for the future” following disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Critics say the frame has glaring flaws. It does not incentivize potential partners by lowering tariffs or giving signers better access to US markets. These limitations may not make the US framework an attractive alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has continued to evolve after the US exit. The US and 12 countries join the new Indo-Pacific trade pact


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