It is reported on December 10 that Japan, Australia, the United States, and other countries launched the first round of six-day in-person negotiations under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in Sydney, aimed at setting economic rules and standards in the Indo-Pacific. The members would negotiate commitments in areas such as trade facilitation and agriculture.
In 2017, during the administration of President Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement CPTPP. Therefore, the United States is neither a member of the CPTPP nor the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). However, there have been voices among Association of Southeast Asian Nations members urging Washington to re-engage economically in the Indo-Pacific region due to concern over China’s economic coercion.
In order to establish economic relations with Asian countries, while the Biden administration basically followed Trump’s trade protectionist policies, in May this year, the United States and Japan agreed to coordinate the establishment of a new rules-based economic order in the Indo-Pacific region, that is, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). In September, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo hosted a ministerial meeting in Los Angeles with officials from 13 IPEF partners. In October, Canada sought to join IPEF, with the Biden administration expressing support for Canada’s bid.