Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

The members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) reached a significant milestone at the IPEF Ministerial Meeting in Detroit, Michigan with the substantial conclusion of negotiations on a landmark Supply Chain Agreement. This agreement, involving all 14 IPEF member countries, is aimed at fortifying the resilience, efficiency, and inclusivity of their supply chains through a combination of collaborative activities and individual actions. The agreement lays the foundation for improving supply chain resilience and transparency, as well as enhancing public-private cooperation and business certainty in and among IPEF member states – particularly in sectors deemed “critical” by member governments. Continue Reading Unveiling the Landmark IPEF Supply Chain Agreement

On May 23, 2022, President Biden announced the launch of negotiations for the long-awaited Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (“IPEF”).  The IPEF had been under consideration for some time, but was finally announced during the President’s first trip to Asia.

These negotiations are beginning with a total of 12 countries in addition to the United States:  Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.  Many of the countries on the list had been predicted (e.g., Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore), but some were unexpected (e.g., Brunei and the Philippines).  While Taiwan had indicated interest in joining, it was excluded from this launch largely because of concerns that its inclusion would prove an irritant to China, which might in turn dissuade other countries from joining.  Nevertheless, there appears to be support in the Administration and elsewhere for continued bilateral engagement on trade and investment issues. On May 27, 2022, Fiji also joined the IPEF, the first Pacific Island nation to join the framework.Continue Reading The Biden Administration Announces the Launch of Negotiations for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

In October 2021, President Biden announced the United States’ intention to pursue an “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” (IPEF) as a means of strengthening U.S. ties in the Asian region.  Substantive discussions on the IPEF have not yet begun, and indeed, there has not yet been an announcement how the negotiations will be conducted or which nations will be involved.  Nevertheless, enough about this proposed framework of agreements has been announced that companies in the region can begin to prepare for the process.  This article will discuss what is known about the IPEF, why the current administration is taking this approach, and how countries in the Asian region may be affected by this new agreement.

By way of background, in February 2016, after years of negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed.  The TPP covered 12 countries, including the United States, and was described as a high-standard “21st Century” trade agreement.  However, one of then-President Trump’s first actions in office was to withdraw the United States from the TPP.  The remaining TPP countries renegotiated the agreement without the United States (essentially removing certain elements of the agreement the United States alone had backed), and ultimately entered into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).  Since President Biden’s inauguration in January 2021, pressure has been building for the United States to reengage with Asia on economic and commercial matters.  The IPEF is the United States’ current policy response.Continue Reading The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework: How the United States Intends to Re-Engage with Asia on Trade