Background

It appears traders will have to wait a bit longer to find out who and what will be included in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework being developed by the Biden administration. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce are soliciting comments by April 11 that will be used to help develop negotiating objectives and identify potential partners.

USTR states that it will lead efforts to develop high-standard, worker-centered commitments on fair and resilient trade issues, including with respect to labor, environment and climate, digital economy, agriculture, transparency and good regulatory practices, competition policy, and customs and trade facilitation. The DOC, meanwhile, will lead work on supply chain resiliency (including digital and emerging technologies); clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructure; and taxation and anti-corruption.

To help develop U.S. negotiating objectives and positions and identify potential partners, USTR and DOC are seeking public comments on the topics listed above as well as issues of particular relevance to small and medium-sized businesses. USTR is also interested in other measures or practices, including those of third-country entities, that undermine fair market opportunities for U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses, although it is not seeking to address tariff barriers at this time.

For more information on the IPEF or other aspects of U.S. trade policy, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.

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