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In Tokyo on Monday, President Joe Biden announced the launch of the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a trade framework involving 13 countries that want economic opportunities outside of the generally scarce trade deals with China.
“We share a commitment to a free, open, just, inclusive, interconnected, resilient, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region that has the potential to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” said a joint leaders statement. of IPEF. “We recognize that our economic policy interests in the region are closely intertwined, and deepening economic engagement between partners is crucial to continued growth, peace and prosperity.”
The new economic agreement includes Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States. United.
“To prepare our economies for the future, we are launching the process of establishing the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity,” the statement added. “This framework aims to advance the resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, equity and competitiveness of our economies.”
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“Through this initiative, we aim to contribute to cooperation, stability, prosperity, development and peace in the region,” the leaders also said.
Together, the countries account for more than 40% of global GDP and Biden said regional unification under the new IPEF creates an environment in which these countries can freely decide rules to enable a level playing field when it comes to economic and commercial commitment.
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Biden also said the deal benefits American workers and American businesses, giving even small businesses and ranchers a chance to compete as it should lower shipping costs and protect against shipping disruptions — which have resulted in higher costs for consumers.
The new deal comes as the United States invested more than $969 billion in the region in 2020, a figure that has nearly doubled over the past decade.
The Indo-Pacific region also supports over three million American jobs with nearly $900 billion invested in the United States.
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“We look forward to jointly creating conducive environments to boost the flow of commerce, trade and investment between our economies, and to improving standards and access to opportunities for our workers, businesses and people in our markets. combined,” concluded IPEF leaders.
The IPEF framework consists of four key principles to unify economies among its partners: a wide variety of trade issues, improving “transparency, diversity, safety and sustainability in our supply chains” , confidentiality provisions to protect against money laundering or corrupt schemes and strong labor and environmental standards, including decarbonization.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.