Washington – The United States and twelve countries have announced the formal launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) earlier today in Tokyo. The IPEF will split into four pillars: trade; supply chain resiliency; clean energy and infrastructure; and tax and anti-corruption. It is expected that participating countries will choose which pillars to join in the coming weeks.
Within the trade pillar, there will be a component for parties to discuss digital trade and other emerging technology issues. Ahead of the formal launch, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai noted the importance of addressing digital issues within this agreement, and said that it “will help build connectivity and trust between key markets, including standards on cross-border data flows and data localizations.”
The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomes these developments and encourages participating countries to seek strong, enforceable commitments and standards that foster the free flow of digitally-enabled goods and services.
Last month, CCIA submitted recommendations to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce on priorities for maximizing benefits to the digital economy through the IPEF. The Biden Administration initially laid out its plans for the framework in February.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President, Matthew Schruers:
“The launch of IPEF negotiations is a welcomed step forward at a critical time in global trade relations. CCIA welcomes U.S. re-engagement in the Indo-Pacific region to improve the flow of goods and services that—under the necessary provisions—could boost economic growth, U.S. competitiveness, national security, and democratic values. Industry looks forward to working with the Biden Administration as the IPEF continues to develop, and encourages participating countries to craft strong rules and mechanisms that are needed to best support the digital economy.”