The United States and a dozen other Indo-Pacific economies launched a new framework to advance fair and prosperous economic growth in the region.

Speaking May 23 in Tokyo, President Biden said that through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), partners will craft new rules for the 21st-century economy to ensure that economic growth is sustainable and inclusive.

“The United States is deeply invested in the Indo-Pacific. We’re committed for the long haul, ready to champion our vision for a positive future for the region together with friends and partners,” Biden said at a launch event attended by regional leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We’re going to keep working to make progress with all of you every day so that we can deliver real, concrete benefits for all our people,” Biden added.

The initial partners in the framework are: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Other economies may join in the future.

The launch occurred in Tokyo following Biden’s visit to South Korea and summits with Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. The two summits addressed global issues, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and security challenges posed by North Korea.

At the IPEF launch event, Biden emphasized that the Indo-Pacific region will shape the 21st-century economy, noting the region is home to half of the world’s population. The initial 12 economies joining the framework represent 40% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

Under IPEF, partner economies will:

  • Craft rules governing trade in digital goods and services to protect proprietary technology.
  • Eliminate bottlenecks in critical supply chains and develop warning systems to identify problems before they occur.
  • Make new commitments to clean energy and decarbonization.
  • Close the loopholes that allow corruption to sap an estimated 2% to 5% of global GDP and worsen inequality. Partners will also aim to promote fair taxation to help governments fund education, health services and other investments.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai told reporters May 23 that the United States will work with partners in the new framework on issues ranging from emerging technologies, to regulatory and labor practices, to the environment and corporate accountability.

Policies crafted under the framework will aim to deliver prosperity while advancing global priorities, she said.

“At its core, the Economic Framework will link major economies and emerging ones to tackle 21st century challenges and promote fair and resilient trade for years to come,” Tai said.

Banner image: Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, President Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders launched a new economic framework for advancing sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region during a meeting in Tokyo May 23. (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)