March 13, 2023

IPEF Must Step Up Ambition, Says Private Sector

Releases & Statements


IPEF Must Step Up Ambition, Says Private Sector

Indo-Pacific business coalition delivers a three-point plan for new regional trade pact negotiators

Bali, March 13, 2023 – As negotiations on the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF) agreement begin in Bali, a business group made up of U.S.-headquartered companies with subsidiaries across the region is calling on negotiators to put forward bold proposals and engage more closely with the private sector to help develop them. 

“The IPEF can play a valuable role in promoting sustainable economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Jackson Cox, Interim President of the American Association of the Indo-Pacific. “But success will require intensive engagement with businesses across the region, who are at the coalface of global commerce.”

“U.S. leadership and engagement here is absolutely vital to ensuring the success of the IPEF as commerce in the region expands.”

Mr. Cox presented a three-point call to action for negotiators. 

First, the IPEF agreement must provide clarity through enforceable rules, increase market opportunities by addressing specific non-tariff barriers, simplify and modernize customs procedures, include strong digital trade rules and intellectual property protections, and agree on common standards in key sectors. 

Second, the U.S. and other IPEF governments must engage in more depth with the private sector and other regional stakeholders, whose support will be critical to the success of the agreement. 

Third, IPEF governments must act with urgency to increase trade, enhance supply chain resilience, and significantly advance their energy transitions. Other agreements across the region are further liberalizing trade and investment beyond the Indo-Pacific and shaping regional and global commerce. 

“IPEF governments aim to advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness, all goals we support,” said Mr. Cox. “If they want an ambitious IPEF that will deliver real benefits across the region, these governments—particularly the U.S.—need to step up their engagement with business and other stakeholders."

About AAIP

The American Association of the Indo-Pacific ( is a membership-led organization that works to strengthen American business and investment in the Indo-Pacific region. AAIP does this through policy initiatives, ongoing engagement with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and the region, and close collaboration with other business associations. AAIP is registered in the United States as a 501c6 non-profit corporation. AAIP membership is only held by U.S.-headquartered companies and business associations.

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