Business Korea | 28 June 2022
IPEF negotiations expected to start in August
By Jung Suk-yee
The U.S. and South Korean governments are expected to initiate IPEF-related negotiations in August. The anti-China economic framework is equivalent to 32.3 percent of the total population of the world and 40.9 percent of the global total GDP.
The framework was proposed by U.S. President Joe Biden in October last year. It can be defined as an economic and security alliance of Indo-Pacific countries pursuing an inclusive and flexible economic network. The framework is to more closely cooperate in new trade issues, such as digital transformation, supply chain and clean energy, whereas traditional FTAs focus on market opening.
The 14 members of the framework officially launched on May 23 include South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and Singapore. The four sectors covered by the IPEF are fair and resilient trade, supply chain resilience, infrastructure, clean energy and decarbonization, and tax and anti-corruption. Each member is required to participate in at least one.
South Korea is planning to take part in every sector as a founding member. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are forming task forces for the negotiations.
According to some experts, the negotiations may be delayed as some members have yet to choose their sectors. “Those members are developing countries and they have yet to determine their stances on the fourth sector,” one of them said, adding, “Given that the IPEF is based on the premise of multilateral talks, their progress is likely to determine the timing of negotiation initiation.”