What’s in Biden’s proposed new Asian trade pact?


Negotiations with partner countries will revolve around four pillars, or themes, with work divided between the US trade representative and the Commerce Department.

The US trade representative will lead the talks on the “fair” trade pillar. This would likely include efforts to protect American workers from job losses, as China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 led to serious layoffs in manufacturing.

Those job losses have ripped apart parts of the US, angered voters and helped propel the political rise of Donald Trump, who, as president, pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership almost as soon as he was sworn in in 2017. .

The Commerce Department will oversee negotiations on the other three pillars: supply chain resilience, infrastructure and climate change, and tax and anti-corruption.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo flew with Biden on Air Force One to Japan. She was also by the president’s side during his time in South Korea, where he highlighted investments in American factories by automaker Hyundai and electronics giant Samsung.


The White House has said that IPEF will be an open platform. But he has faced criticism from the Chinese government that any deal could be an “exclusive” cabal that would lead to further turmoil in the region.

And there are sensitivities to China, the world’s second largest economy, in the creation of IPEF. The autonomous island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, is being excluded from the pact. This exclusion is notable as Taiwan is also a leading manufacturer of computer chips, a key element of the digital economy that will be part of the IPEF negotiations.

Sullivan said any trade talks with Taiwan would be done one on one.

“We look forward to deepening our economic partnership with Taiwan, including on high-tech issues, including the supply of semiconductors,” Sullivan said. “But we are pursuing that in the first instance on a bilateral basis.”

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