Indo-Pacific nations sign IPEF clean and fair economy agreements

The partners of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework signed the clean economy and fair economy agreements. Signing of IPEF’s agreements marks a significant step in the US’s efforts to strengthen economic cooperation and reduce reliance on China in the region.

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The United States and 13 other Asia-Pacific nations signed agreements on two critical pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), part of Washington’s strategy to strengthen its influence in the region.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the signing of the clean economy and fair economy agreements at a briefing in Singapore. These agreements are part of President Joe Biden’s broader effort to counter China’s economic dominance in Asia.

The clean economy agreement focuses on the transition to renewable energy and combating climate change, while the fair economy agreement addresses taxation and corruption issues. The IPEF’s other two pillars include the already agreed upon supply-chain pillar, which aims to prevent disruptions similar to those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a pending trade pillar, which faces challenges related to digital commerce and labor regulations.

The participating nations, which include major economies such as Japan, India, and South Korea, collectively represent about $38 trillion in economic output. While not all partners signed the accords immediately, a few countries are finalizing their domestic processes and intend to sign soon.

Raimondo also highlighted a coalition of climate partners, including BlackRock, GIC, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Temasek, committing over $25 billion to infrastructure investments in the Indo-Pacific emerging markets. Additionally, countries have identified over $23 billion in priority infrastructure projects, with US industry engaging directly with governments on these opportunities.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lawrence Wong expressed the 10-nation Southeast Asian bloc’s eagerness to deepen ties with the US, recognizing the benefits of American presence for regional peace and prosperity. 

Wong said, “For decades, America’s presence in Asia has brought peace and prosperity and created a stable environment for countries like Singapore to prosper. That’s why Singapore has long been an advocate for the US to actively engage the region, especially Southeast Asia.”

The IPEF’s agreements mark a significant step in the US’s efforts to strengthen economic cooperation and reduce reliance on China in the region.

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