AAIP Press Statement
American Association of the Indo-Pacific Calls for Meaningful Outcomes in IPEF Negotiations
SINGAPORE, May 8, 2023 – The American Association of the Indo-Pacific (AAIP), a lead organization for U.S.-headquartered companies operating in the Indo-Pacific, has released a detailed submission outlining key recommendations for the third round of IPEF negotiations in Singapore. The report, submitted to U.S. and other IPEF partner governments, emphasizes the importance of ensuring meaningful and binding commitments in the agreements to facilitate economic growth across the region.
Interim President of AAIP, Jackson Cox, has stated that while the organization supports the IPEF's broad-ranging goals and expedited timeline, concerns are mounting regarding the possible dilution of meaningful outcomes – which will diminish the utility of the agreement. "Getting the IPEF right is vitally important. We need to make sure that the foundation is set for meaningful outcomes and prolonged economic engagement," Cox said.
The report builds upon previous submissions and offers new technical input based on public communications from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Commerce.
Jackson Cox highlighted the importance of creating a "living agreement" structure that futureproofs the agreement as the global trade environment evolves. "We must ensure that IPEF is adaptable to the rapidly changing trade landscape, allowing for continuous improvement and alignment with global standards," he said.
Cox also stressed the need to adopt an approach to digital trade by incorporating elements from the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). "Digital trade needs to benefit all parties, and it is clearly the area from which the region can benefit most – provided we get it right."
"The IPEF represents a ‘down payment’ on greater economic engagement going into the future in the region. Many IPEF partners and other stakeholders want to see greater liberalization. That may not be possible now, but we need to get the basics right so that can happen in the future. This means binding commitments and strong outcomes where they can happen right now: digital, customs and trade facilitation, supply chains, and green financing."
Lastly, Cox emphasized the importance of the Clean Economy pillar agreement: "We have a real opportunity to put everyone on the same page for green financing and developing climate infrastructure. This is an opportunity we cannot afford to waste."
AAIP is committed to supporting IPEF objectives and providing valuable input to ensure the trade agreement secures the prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. The organization believes that a well-structured and futureproofed agreement will ultimately benefit both the U.S. and the entire Indo-Pacific region.
For further information, to request a copy of the full report, or to speak to AAIP’s experts, contact:
Jackson Cox, Interim CEO
Khalil Manaf Hegarty, Senior Policy Advisor
The American Association of the Indo-Pacific (americanindopac.com) 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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