Washington — The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S Commerce Department officials hosted meetings with trading partners in Los Angeles this week for the first face-to-face ministerial meeting to discuss the goals of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
At the conclusion of these meetings, the 14 Parties released Negotiation Objectives that outlined the scope of the IPEF goals. Among the stated negotiating priorities of participants of the Trade Pillar, Parties agreed to the general goals of expanding access to markets, stimulating trade and investment, and decreasing trade barriers. Signatories to the Trade Pillar specifically agreed to facilitate digital trade and address discriminatory practices, promote trusted and secure cross-border data flows, promote good regulatory practices, and simplify and make more transparent customs procedures.
The countries participating in the Trade Pillar include the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed comments with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and filed comments with the U.S. Department of Commerce offering recommendations on priorities for the IPEF.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President for Digital Trade Jonathan McHale:
“CCIA welcomes the progress announced today to move forward with trade discussion with trading partners in the Indo-Pacific region, and applauds the shared commitment to set strong digital rules.
“Digital trade has been a bright spot in trade and for the US economy and the digital platforms and tools help empower local businesses around the world. The growth of unreasonable and discriminatory barriers in the digital economy, however, has undermined its potential and adversely affected the U.S. workers and businesses that depend on access to foreign markets. CCIA encourages the Biden Administration to negotiate for enforceable, open, rules-based digital trade as a top global economic priority.”