Gina Raimondo, the Secretary of Commerce for the United States of America, stated on Tuesday that a ministerial meeting held on the sidelines of a Pacific Rim Leaders conference had completed three of the four “pillars” of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework discussions being led by the Biden administration.
During a bilateral meeting with Japan, one of the 14 IPEF nations participating in the discussions that the United States is leading, Raimondo made the remark.
She did not provide specific information on the agreements; nevertheless, the Department of Commerce has been leading the negotiations on the pillars covering supply networks, cooperation on sustainable energy, and combating corruption and tax fraud.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s Minister of Trade, Economy, and Industry, and Yoko Kamikawa, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, were the ones whom Raimondo addressed when he remarked, “I want to thank both of you for your strong support of the IPEF.” Earlier today, we had a very successful ministerial meeting, which culminated in completing the three pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
Her comments showed that the nations that are a part of IPEF have agreed on the parameters of the anti-corruption chapter and the clean energy pillar. The pure energy pillar intends to strengthen cooperation on de-carbonization efforts. At the same time, the anti-corruption branch wants to fight tax evasion and help countries create more vital institutions and regulations. Her statements disclosed this.
In May 2018, Governor Raimondo announced that the supply chain pillar had been finished. This pillar included establishing an early warning and consultation system for supply chain interruptions caused by natural disasters or other circumstances. September saw the completion of a document.
The fourth pillar, trade, is not close to reaching an agreement, a significant setback for the Biden administration. The administration had hoped to announce substantial completion of the fourth pillar this week during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit as a symbol of deeper U.S. economic integration with the region and as an alternative counterweight to China. However, this did not happen.
On Monday, the Secretary of the United States Treasury, Janet Yellen, stated that the discussions about the trade pillar will “require further work.”
The challenges on the trade front come as Vice President Biden gets ready to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday for a high-stakes conversation to defuse the tension that has built up in relations between the world’s two largest economies.