Home Trade industry IPEF members agree to start talks, India stays out of trade talks

IPEF members agree to start talks, India stays out of trade talks

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Trade ministers from Japan, the United States and 12 other countries have agreed to formally begin negotiations on a new regional economic initiative for the Indo-Pacific.

In Los Angeles on Friday, they concluded their first in-person discussions on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo made the announcement during a press conference.

Tai said, “This meeting was an opportunity to deepen our partnerships and clarify how we will work collectively to address the challenges and seize the opportunities that will define the 21st century.

The 14 nations also include India and Australia.

Digitizing trade and strengthening supply chains for key items such as semiconductors are among the four pillars being negotiated.

Members can choose which parts of IPEF to join. India has opted to stay out of the trade talks, but the others are engaged in four-pillar talks.

The United States proposed the framework in light of China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.

Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi told reporters he wanted to start negotiations as soon as possible.

He also said Japan would take the lead alongside the United States to push the framework forward.