IPEF Negotiators Eye Partial Accord by Late May


Washington, Feb. 11 (Jiji Press)--Chief negotiators from Japan, the United States and 12 other countries agreed to aim for a partial accord on the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity by late May.

During their four-day meeting in New Delhi through Saturday, the negotiators confirmed that they will work to forge an agreement in at least one of the four areas of the U.S.-led IPEF initiative by late May, when the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum holds a meeting of trade ministers, and reach accords in all four fields by mid-November, when an APEC summit will be held. The United States holds the APEC presidency this year.

The 14 IPEF countries, also including Australia and India, aim to set common rules in the four areas of trade, supply chains, fair economy, and tax and anticorruption as they seek to reduce their economic dependence on China.

As India has indicated that it will not join the talks in the trade area for now, participants in the New Delhi meeting advanced discussions in the remaining three areas and achieved progress in negotiating a treaty in the field of supply chains, according to informed sources.

In a statement released after the meeting, the U.S. Department of Commerce said, "The IPEF partners reaffirmed their commitments to continuing collaboration to expeditiously conclude agreements that include high-standard outcomes and deliver concrete benefits to enhance a shared vision for economic competitiveness and prosperity in their respective economies."

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Jiji Press