Biden Launches Trade Agreement with 12 Asian Nations

Photo credit: Reuters

President Joe Biden launched a new trade deal with 12 nations in Asia in order to strengthen their economies. 

At a news conference after holding talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. The trade deal is designed to signal that the United States is dedicated to the contested economic sphere, and to address the need for stability in commerce after disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic and by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

The new U.S. pact involves a dozen countries: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Together with the United States, the countries make up 40 percent of the world GDP. 

In a joint statement, the countries said that the new pact will help them to collectively prepare their economies “for the future” after the fallout from Covid, as well as the fallout from the war in Ukraine. 

Biden and Kishida were joined for the launch event by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The other countries’ representatives joined by video. 

The U.S. said the new framework will help the Asian and American economies work more closely on issues including supply chains, digital trade, clean energy, worker protections and anticorruption efforts. 

Details still need to be negotiated among member countries. 

The pact comes among increasing competition with China, and at a moment where the White House believes it has the edge over Beijing. Bloomberg Economics published last week a report that projects U.S. GDP growth at about 2.8 percent in 2022, which is compared to 2 percent for China. 

China has been trying to contain Covid through very strict lockdowns, which has dealt a blow to its economy. 

Recent events have created the slowdown, which has undermined assumptions that China would automatically supplant the U.S. as the world’s leading economy. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.