In a move to increase its economic profile and create another equalizer to China within Asia, the USA announced yesterday the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with Asian allies including Australia, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.
It’s a comprehensive plan designed to help grow the USA’s economic leadership profile in the Indo-Pacific region. The group wants to create international rules on the digital economy, decarbonization, supply chains, and regulations applying to workers.
USA President Joe Biden has expressed that combating inflation is a priority and this economic framework is created to help decrease costs by making supply chains more robust in the longer term.
U.S. National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan said that the IPEF is not a free trade agreement (FTA) and it is also not a security agreement and is distinct from the Quad defense group that consists of the USA, India, Japan, and Australia.
USA President is in Tokyo this week to meet regional leaders regarding the IPEF and the Quad.
Yuki Tatsumi, Senior fellow at Stimson Center in Washington DC said, “regardless of whatever new policy initiatives come out of Washington, the strategic competition between U.S. and China is going to intensify.”