U.S set to discuss IPEF with Asia, Pacific Trade Ministers

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    The United States will host a virtual meeting on Tuesday of officials from the 14 countries in Asia and the Pacific that have joined the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

    The ministerial meet – to be hosted by U.S Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo – is part of moves by Washington to expand its engagement with Asia.

    The meeting was announced in a statement by the USTR Representative’s and Commerce Minister’s offices.

    President Joe Biden, who launched the IPEF in May on a trip to Tokyo, wants to use it as a way to raise environmental, labour and other standards across Asia.

    Washington has lacked an economic pillar to its Indo-Pacific engagement since former President Donald Trump quit a multinational trans-Pacific trade agreement, leaving the field open to China to expand its influence.

    In addition to the United States, the IPEF members comprise Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Topics for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting include trade, supply chains, clean energy, infrastructure, taxes and combating corruption, the statement said.

    SOURCE: REUTERS/PACNEWS