The 14 members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) for Prosperity initiative — Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam — announced May 27 they had concluded negotiations for the first-of-its-kind IPEF Supply Chain Agreement aimed at improving the resiliency and competitiveness of these countries’ supply chains. The proposed IPEF Supply Chain Agreement will ensure the establishment of a framework for long-lasting cooperation on issues like supply chain monitoring, investment promotion, workforce development and crisis response.
The agreement will see the creation of an IPEF Supply Chain Council which will oversee the development of industry-specific plans. The partnering countries will also develop an IPEF Supply Chain Crisis Response Network that will serve as an emergency communication channel dealing with acute supply chain crises. Lastly, the deal will launch the IPEF Labor Rights Advisory Board to identify areas where labor rights concerns could threaten supply chain resiliency and competitiveness.
Now, IPEF partners will take steps to review and prepare the final text of the agreement so that it can be signed, ratified and approved. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce said that the partnering countries have already begun working together on supply chain resiliency efforts including private sector engagement and activities to promote increased investment.
“The proposed IPEF Supply Chain Agreement would be a win for American consumers, workers and businesses. It shows that an innovative approach to economic policy that is focused on meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century in close coordination with partners can deliver meaningful results,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “By having a network in place ahead of time, we can respond more effectively to supply chain challenges. That is what will make this agreement so unique and so important for the American people.”
President Joe Biden launched the IPEF initiative in 2022 as part of the administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. The IPEF acts as a platform that supports sustained economic cooperation between like-minded countries to address unique economic challenges that have emerged over the last few years.
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