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Shared views on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)

President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re: Shared views on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)

March 1, 2023

Dear President Biden:

As organizations whose constituencies continue to experience the harm caused by past corporate centered trade agreements, we have a strong desire to work with your administration to advance
goals you have described for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) — particularly in
terms of a long overdue shift in direction for U.S. trade policy that finally places working people
and climate action at the center. We write today with shared views about IPEF terms that will be
necessary for the pact to meet important labor, family farm and environmental goals, as well as
recommendations for a more transparent and participatory process.

To begin, we are heartened by and appreciate reports that IPEF will not include some of the
damaging provisions found in past trade agreements, such as the anti-worker, anti-environment
and anti-democratic investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system and public procurement
terms that could undermine “Buy America,” “buy local” and “buy green” programs.

The list of countries selected as initial IPEF partners, however, includes many with records of
labor rights violations, including unionist assassinations, human trafficking, forced labor, child
labor and more. To advance your administration’s promised worker-centered trade model, IPEF
must include strong labor rights commitments based on standards set in the International Labor
Organization’s core conventions, and it must also include facility-specific enforcement
mechanisms, building off the Rapid Response Mechanism in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement
(USMCA). IPEF signatory countries must also be required to make the changes to their labor
laws necessary to align them with their new IPEF obligations before the pact is signed by the
United States. IPEF must take steps forward relative to the USMCA, not backward, on labor
rights and labor enforcement.

In terms of IPEF’s climate provisions, “a step forward” will not be enough. Given that previous
U.S. trade agreements, including the USMCA, fail to even mention the term “climate change,”
IPEF will need to be particularly ambitious in its climate provisions if it is to help the United
States and Indo-Pacific region achieve their climate and environmental justice goals. Among
other environmental measures, IPEF must require that countries adopt, implement and maintain binding climate standards, and must likewise extend swift-and-certain enforcement mechanisms
to those provisions.

On the matter of “digital trade,” IPEF’s terms must not be allowed to undermine the
administration’s domestic anti-monopoly and tech regulation agenda by locking in international
rules that threaten consumer privacy, data security, worker rights, civil rights, algorithm justice
and competition policy here and throughout the Indo-Pacific. In comparison to the USMCA’s
digital terms, any data flow guarantees or limits on safeguarding where data can be processed or
stored must be scaled back significantly in any IPEF deal, with much broader exceptions added
to better protect Americans’ personal data, as well as to protect good-paying jobs in the digital
economy. IPEF also must not include provisions that create special secrecy guarantees for Big
Tech firms’ source codes and algorithms so that they can evade the pre-review and audits that are
a feature of many criminal justice, civil rights, worker rights and other bills and the
administration’s AI Bill of Rights. As well, an IPEF must not establish non-discrimination terms
similar to those included in the USMCA and Trans-Pacific Partnership that capture policies with
“discriminatory effects” based on larger entities being more impacted by facially neutral policies
of general application. Non-discrimination rules in IPEF must be limited to de facto
discrimination or such rules will undermine competition policy efforts as well as labor laws and
other public interest policies. As your administration, Congress and other IPEF countries all
work hard to rein in Big Tech abuses, IPEF must not be used as a backdoor to undermine those

Likewise, IPEF’s other provisions in both the trade pillar and other three pillars must also
contribute to the creation of a worker-centered, climate-friendly trade model. For instance, socalled “Good Regulatory Practice” provisions must not replicate the terms of past trade proposals
aimed at delaying, weakening and destroying future public interest policies before they are even
created. And any agricultural provisions should allow for the creation of strategic food and grain
reserves and other public investment in agricultural resilience and local food systems, include
measures to stop land grabs and otherwise protect the human rights of farmers and farm
workers, and set floors, rather than ceilings, when it comes to food safety and fair price measures
for producers and consumers.

Finally, the United States’ requirement that IPEF negotiating parties sign confidentiality
agreements undermines the ability for an informed citizenry to provide input on policy that
impacts their livelihoods and communities; we urge you to terminate these confidentiality
agreements. We also urge you to publish upcoming U.S. IPEF proposals for public comment
prior to tabling them, including those on critical chapters like labor, the environment and digital
trade that we understand will be tabled soon, in addition to all other texts. And we urge the
United States and other countries to publish proposals and any draft composite texts at the close
of each IPEF negotiating round. A more transparent and participatory negotiating process for
IPEF would allow for a wider set of interests to provide informed input and ensure equitable
treatment of communities which are not part of the official U.S. trade advisor system, mostly
representing corporations who now have access to U.S. proposals and other confidential IPEF
texts. Reversing an unnecessarily bureaucratic and obtuse trade negotiating regime requires
operating in a transparent manner and would facilitate broader public support and confidence
among civil society organizations.

We look forward to being partners with your administration throughout the IPEF negotiating
process so that any final deal corrects the errors of past trade pacts and becomes a useful model
for future agreements that deliver real benefits to people and the planet.

Citizens Trade Campaign

A Growing Culture
A Well-Fed World
Agricultural Justice Project
Alliance for Democracy
Amazon Labor Union
American Economic Liberties Project
American Friends Service Committee
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Americas Program
Amnesty International USA
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
Backbone Campaign
BlueGreen Alliance
Campaign for America’s Future
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Global Justice
Center for Policy Analysis on Trade & Health (CPATH)
Center for Sustainable Economy
Climate Crisis Policy
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Communities and Postal Workers United
Corporate Accountability Lab
Corporate Campaign, Inc.
Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company
Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute
Demand Progress Education Fund
Environmentalists Against War
Equal Exchange
Ethix Merch
Family Farm Defenders
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Fight for the Future
Food & Water Watch
Food Empowerment Project
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research (FIAR)
Freedom to Thrive
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict
Global Exchange
Global Justice Institute Metropolitan Community Churches
GMO/Toxin Free USA
Government Information Watch
Green America
Greenpeace USA
Health Action International Asia Pacific
Holy Cross International Justice Office
Hope Border Institute
Inlandboatmen’s Union - Marine Division ILWU
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Institute for Policy Studies - Global Economy Project
Intemerate Earth
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
International Women’s Alliance
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Labor Network for Sustainability
Latino Farmers & Ranchers International, Inc.
Legacy of Equality Leadership and Organizing (LELO)
Living Economies Forum
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mountain Lion Foundation
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Family Farm Coalition
National Jobs for All Network
National Organization for Women
Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Nicaragua Center for Community Action
North American Marine Alliance
Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU)
Our Revolution
Partners for Dignity & Rights
Pax Christi USA
Peace Action
People’s Health Movement-USA
Popular Resistance
Presbyterian Church USA
Pride at Work
Progressive Democrats of America
Public Citizen
Responsible Sourcing Network
Rethink Trade
Revolving Door Project
Rootcity Press
Sierra Club
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregational Leadership
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team
Social Security Works
Sunrise Movement
The Borneo Project
The Earth Bill Network
The Oakland Institute
The Rick Smith Show
The United Methodist Church — General Board of Church and Society
Trade Justice Education Fund
Transport Workers Union of America
Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD)
United Brotherhood of Carpenters
United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries
United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE)
Veterans For Peace
Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S.
Women’s Voices for the Earth
350 Eastside
350 Seattle
A2D2 Ann Arbor in Divisible for Democracy
Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet
AFT 4999
AFT Washington
Albany County Central Labor Council
Alliance for Democracy - Oregon
Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA)
American Friends Service Committee, Colorado
Americans for Democratic Action Iowa
Anakbayan Portland
APALA Texas Chapter
Appetite For Change
APWU Local 380
Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake Counties Farmers Union (Ohio)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, Seattle Chapter
Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera
AWPPW California Area Council
Baltimore/DC Chapter of Pride at Work
Berkeley Fellowship Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Committee
Bernie PDX
Bexar County Young Democrats
Beyond Toxics
Border Agricultural Workers Project
Boulder Area Labor Council, CO AFL-CIO
California Communities Against Toxics
California Trade Justice Coalition
Carpenters Local 276
Casa Baltimore Limay
Central Illinois PDA
Central South Carpenters Regional Council
Centro Fronterizo del Obrero (dba) La Mujer Obrera
Chicago Fair Trade
Church Council of Greater Seattle
Cleveland Jobs with Justice
Coalition of Seattle Indian Americans
Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 4
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1122
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1985
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7800
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7901
Community Alliance for Global Justice
Community to Community Development Projects
Coulee Region Progressives
Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity
CURE (Clean Up the River Environment)
Democracy Out Loud (Indivisible)
Democratic Socialists of America (Dallas)
Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC)
District W24 IAMAW
Earth Action, Inc.
Earth Democracy Committee Alliance for Democracy
Earth Ethics, Inc.
Endangered Habitats League
Environmental Justice Ministry Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
Equity Transit
Faith Action Network
Faith-Labor Committee, Portland Jobs with Justice
Family Action Network Movement (FANM)
Farmworker Association of Florida
Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
Florida Chapter - Progressive Democrats of America
Food for Maine’s Future
For the Many
Fort Collins, CO Chapter - Progressive Democrats of America
Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice
Friends of Merrymeeting Bay
Global Justice Committee, Portland JwJ
Greater Boston Trade Justice
Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
Green Song Press
Health Advocacy International
Health Care For All Texas
Hernando County Green Party
Hike The Good Hike
Housing Works
Huron Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
IAM 751
IBEW Local 840
ILWU Washington Area District Council
Indiana Pride At Work
Indivisible Austin
Indivisible Bainbridge Island
Indivisible Beaverton
Indivisible Bellingham
Indivisible Detroit (MI)
Indivisible Eastside (WA)
Indivisible Outcry
Indivisible Plus Washington
Indivisible Skagit
Indivisible Warren County
Indivisible Washington’s 8th District
Indivisible Whidbey Island (WA)
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines - Portland Chapter
InterReligious Task Force on Central America
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
IUE-CWA Local 301
Jews For Racial and Economic Justice
Jobs with Justice of East Tennessee
Kalikasan Solidarity Organization
Kickapoo Peace Circle
Labor Community Alliance of South Florida
Lampasas County Democratic Party
Leelanau Indivisible
LEPOCO Peace Center (Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern)
Let Cuba Live Committee of Maine
Lipari Renewables, Inc.
LIUNA Local 190
Local Clean Energy Alliance
Long Island Pine Barrens Society
Maine Fair Trade Campaign
Make The Road, New York
Maryland Chapter Progressive Democrats of America
Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Inc.
Metro Justice
Milwaukee Fair Trade Coalition
Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans, Education Fund
Missouri Chapter - Progressive Democrats of America
Mothers Against Greg Abbott
MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
New Hampshire Conference United Church of Christ Economic Justice Mission Group
New Mexico Climate Justice
New Paltz Climate Action
New York Communities For Change
New York Metro Area Postal Workers
New York Trade Justice Coalition
News Guild of New York, CWA
NJ State Industrial Union Council
North Kitsap Indivisible
NYC Friends For Clear Water
NYS Alliance for Retired Americans
Occupy Bellingham
Occupy Bergen County
Office & Professional Employees International Union Local 8, AFL-CIO
Olympia Indivisible
Olympic Climate Action
Oregon BlueGreen Alliance
Oregon Chapter Sierra Club
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Oregon Progressive Party
Our Revolution North Texas
Our Revolution Ohio
Out Now
Outlaw Ink
Pacific Northwest Labor Council
Parallax Perspectives
Park Slope Food Coop - International Trade Education Squad
Partners For Progress SWPA
PDA Illinois
PDA Nebraska
Peace Action Bay Ridge
Peace Action Maine
Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW
Peacemakers of Schoharie County
Peninsula Peace & Justice
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Physicians for Social Responsibility, AZ Chapter
Pierce County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union No. 7
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)
Portland Jobs with Justice
Portland Rising
Pride at Work - Arizona Chapter
Pride at Work - Hawai‘i
Pride At Work - Long Island
Pride at Work - Ohio Chapter
Pride at Work - Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter
Pride at Work - WA South Chapter
Progressive Democrats of America - Arizona
Progressive Democrats of America - Tucson
Progressive Democrats of Hawaii
Progressives for Democracy in America Florida
PSARA (Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action)
Rise Up WV
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Rural & Migrant Ministry
San Francisco Living Wage Coalition
Santa Clara Sunrise
Santa Cruz Climate Action Network
Seattle CISPES
Seattle Fellowship of Reconciliation
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU6 Property Services NW
Sequoia Forestkeeper
Sierra Club - Lone Star Chapter
Sierra Club - Washington State Chapter
SMART Local 112
Snohomish & Island County Labor Council
Snohomish County Indivisible
SOAR Local 2599
SoCal 350 Climate Action
Social Justice Indivisible
Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001
Solidarity Committee—Capital District
South Central Federation of Labor (WI)
South Seattle Climate Action Network
South Texas Human Rights Center
Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice
Spokane Regional Labor Council
Stand Indivisible AZ
Stanford Democrats
Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees SOAR
Students of Color in Public Policy
Sunflower Alliance
Sunrise PDX
Teamsters Joint Council 28
Teamsters Local 391
Teamsters Local 814
Teamsters Local Union No. 117
Terraza 7
Texas Alliance for Retired Americans Austin Chapter
Texas Drought Project
Texas Fair Trade Coalition
Texas Progressive Caucus
The Center for Family Farm Development, Inc.
The Living Hope Wheelchair Association
The Old Anglo-Catholic Movement/IAL
Thurston Climate Action Team
Toledo Area Jobs with Justice & Interfaith Worker Justice Coalition
Trade Justice New York Metro
Transformations CDC
UAW Local 221
UFCW District Union 1
UFCW Local 2013
Unitarian Universalist Action of NH
United For Action
United Service Workers Union
United Steelworkers (USW) District 12
United Steelworkers (USW) District 13
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 10-234
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1280
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 135L
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1774
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 183
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 248
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 3267
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 338
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 3403-Unit 25
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5025
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5429
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 675
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7014
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9-01762
Voz Workers Rights Education Project
WA People’s Privacy
Waist Shapers Meal Preps
Wallingford Indivisible
Washington BlueGreen Alliance
Washington Fair Trade Coalition
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council
WashTech Local 37083
WE ACT for Environmental Justice
WESPAC Foundation, Inc.
Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO
Whatcom Peace & Justice Center
Whiskey Ally’s
WIN W.I.N. Florida Voter Messaging Coalition
Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Fresno
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Santa Cruz Branch
Worker Justice Center of New York
Workers United SEIU
WV Citizen Action Group
Xochipilli Chicano/Latino Men’s Circle
Yolpaki Co
Young Democratic Socialists of America at UC Berkeley
Youth Vs Apocalypse

 source: Citizens Trade Campaign