Politico | 13 March 2023
Latest round of IPEF talks get underway
U.S. trade officials are in Bali, Indonesia, this week for the latest round of negotiations over the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
The Commerce Department and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have each dispatched delegates for this set of talks, which will cover all four of the agreement’s pillars: trade, supply chains, clean energy and taxes. The talks begin today and conclude March 19.
The 13 countries participating in the IPEF negotiations have already floated text for many parts of the agreement, and it’s expected that even more proposals will be put on the table in the coming days. U.S. officials are pressing forward with an aggressive timeline that would see much of the agreement finished before the end of the year.
Several industry groups are specifically eager to see progress on the chapter dedicated to digital trade. That’s expected to be one of the more consequential but also contentious parts of the pact as negotiators forge an agreement that accommodates countries at varying stages of development.
Jason Oxman, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, said in a statement that IPEF represents “an important forum for the United States to push for strong digital trade commitments.” Those commitments should cover data flows, technical standards, tech supply chains and more, the group argues.