Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)

What you should know

In October 2021, President Biden proposed an “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” as the centerpiece of his economic strategy toward the region. Public details are scarce, and the countries to be included have not been announced. The “fair and resilient trade” pillar of IPEF will encompass seven subtopics, (including labor, environmental, and digital standards) and will be led by the U.S. Trade Representative. The Commerce Department will lead the other pillars: supply chain resilience; infrastructure, clean energy, and decarbonization; and tax and anti-corruption.

IPEF could be our opportunity to shape a new type of trade policy that uplifts workers across borders and tackles climate change head-on. Or it could repeat the mistakes of past “trade” deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by prioritizing corporate demands. “Big Tech” and other corporate interests want to use the agreement to lock in rules that put their profits ahead of jobs, wages, the environment, data privacy and civil rights.