Washington – Participants of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework met this past week in South Korea to hold the fourth in-person round of negotiations for the agreement. Following the conclusion of these meetings, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a brief statement announcing progress, but did not provide further details.
Launched over one year ago, IPEF aims to solidify the partnership and improve trade and economic cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific region. However, concerns remain on the lack of ambition on behalf of the U.S. to pursue any level of high-standard agreement with respect to digital rules — rules addressing barriers that affect every exporter, big or small, in every sector.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association strongly encourages parties to seek robust digital trade rules to set a high-standard agreement, and, ahead of the previous negotiating round, called for a course correction in the current talks to deliver such an agreement.
CCIA has supported policies that promote digital trade for more than 50 years.
The following can be attributed CCIA President Matt Schruers:
“It is critical that the U.S. continue to work with partners towards progress on high-standard rules in IPEF, including those relevant to digital technologies that empower businesses of all sizes to compete globally.
“While we welcome the outcomes that have been announced so far, such as those on the IPEF Supply Chain Agreement, the level of ambition of the trade text is in doubt. Without strong digital trade rules in the final agreement, IPEF will fail to further U.S. economic interests and actively undermine U.S.competitiveness in the region, to the benefit of China’s aspirations.”