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Fact Sheet: The IPEF Partners Highlight Continued Progress, Advance Concrete Cooperation, and Welcome the Next Phase of Cooperation

Since President Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) just two years ago, the United States and the 13 other IPEF partners have worked together to deepen long-term regional economic engagement. In that short time, this group of diverse partners have taken IPEF from a vision to three innovative economic cooperation agreements.

At the Ministerial meeting in Singapore on June 6, 2024, their fourth in-person meeting, Secretary Raimondo and the other IPEF partners highlighted the strong progress made since they last met in November 2023. The IPEF partners held a signing ceremony for the Clean Economy Agreement, Fair Economy Agreement, and the Agreement on IPEF. The IPEF partners welcomed the transition from negotiating the agreements to pursuing the sustained cooperation that will continue to provide the concrete economic benefits envisioned under each of the agreements. The announcements from the June 2024 Ministerial meeting and inaugural Clean Economy Investor Forum demonstrate the innovative ways in which the IPEF agreements can deliver on that promise of tangible benefits, both now and in the future. Importantly, the continued focus of the partners on concrete actions will continue to ensure strong results.

The IPEF Supply Chain Agreement: Since the Supply Chain Agreement’s entry into force, the IPEF partners have acted quickly to stand up the three bodies under the Agreement that will serve as the basis for ongoing cooperation among the partners. This cooperation aims to strengthen supply chains across the region, targeting critical sectors of shared interest for cooperative initiatives to promote competitiveness and resilience and better prepare for and respond to costly supply chain disruptions, all while empowering workers and promoting labor rights within regional supply chains.

  • Joining Fiji, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the United States as Parties to Agreement, Malaysia and Thailand ratified the Supply Chain Agreement, marking continued progress on bringing the Agreement into force for all 14 partners.
  • The IPEF partners highlighted the progress in establishing the three supply chain bodies – the Supply Chain Council, the Crisis Response Network, and the Labor Rights Advisory Board – which once fully operational will drive priority initiatives to further IPEF partners goals under the Agreement.
  • To advance their work under the Agreement, the IPEF partners agreed to hold the first virtual meetings of the three bodies in July, and to hold in-person meetings of the Supply Chain Council, as well as the Crisis Response Network, on the margins of a U.S. Department of Commerce-convened Supply Chain Summit in Washington, D.C. before the end of 2024.

The IPEF Clean Economy Agreement: In support of the objectives of the IPEF Clean Economy Agreement, the IPEF partners are using the cooperative work program (CWP) mechanism to pursue ongoing cooperation on shared priorities. Additionally, the financing framework under the Agreement will help mobilize sustainable financing consistent with strong labor rights and environmental protections. Through these two ongoing workstreams, the IPEF partners are pursuing a variety of modalities for cooperation that will create pathways for the partners to take meaningful steps in their transitions towards clean economies. During the June Ministerial meeting and Clean Economy Investor Forum, the United States:

  • Worked with the IPEF partners to advance the previously announced five CWPs on hydrogen supply chains, carbon markets, clean electricity, just transition, and sustainable aviation fuel, and agreed to pursue three new CWPs covering emissions intensity accounting, e-waste urban mining, and small modular reactors;
  • Welcomed the IPEF Catalytic Capital Fund becoming operational, which will deploy concessional financing, technical assistance, and capacity-building in order to expand the pipeline of quality, resilient, and inclusive clean economy infrastructure projects in the IPEF emerging and upper-middle income economies;
  • Recruited a delegation of 22 top U.S. investors to Singapore to attend the inaugural Clean Economy Investor Forum, which seeks to facilitate private capital towards the $23 billion in infrastructure-related project opportunities presented at the Investor Forum; and
  • Announced a new coalition of leading investors with over $25 billion in capital that can be deployed in Indo-Pacific emerging market infrastructure investments in the coming years.  

The Fair Economy Agreement: Technical assistance and capacity building (TACB) in support of the IPEF Partners continued efforts to enhance the transparency and predictability of their markets as envisioned under the Fair Economy Agreement will play a critical role in making the IPEF markets more attractive destinations for trade and investment. To that end, at the June Ministerial meeting, the United States and other IPEF partners strongly supported the creation of a Catalogue of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Initiatives for the IPEF Pillar IV Fair Economy Agreement, which will be regularly updated to reflect available TACB programming offered by the IPEF partners. The initial list includes both established and new TACB programming related to anti-corruption, tax administration, and labor rights protection that will be available to partners. In addition to certain TACB programming shared last year, the United States announced new TACB programming to support implementation of the Fair Economy Agreement.

  • The U.S. Department of State (State Department) Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is funding a new anti-corruption TACB program that will be implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP). To be implemented in late-2024, the approximately $1.5 million TACB initiative will focus on enhancing IPEF partners’ capacity to implement the anti-corruption provisions of the Fair Economy Agreement and take into account TACB needs of partners in designing the TACB programming under the initiative.
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) will hold a virtual workshop in support of the goals of the IPEF Fair Economy Agreement and its Capacity Building Annex. The workshop will serve as a forum to discuss the importance of effective tax administration to support economic and development objectives.  This will also be an opportunity to learn more about OTA’s work with partner countries in this important area of public financial management.
  • The State Department launched a regional anti-corruption hub in Southeast Asia. The hub, led by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), focuses on regional UNCAC implementation to identify gaps in implementation and provide technical assistance to close them. The State Department’s INL has advised UNODC that the hub should have a clear focus on implementation of the IPEF Pillar IV Fair Economy Agreement to prioritize strengthening anti-corruption efforts that would further the objectives of IPEF Pillar IV.
  • The State Department’s INL has also funded a separate program with UNODC to support implementation of IPEF Pillar IV focused on strengthening anti-corruption capabilities. This funding will facilitate a study on the main areas for enhanced cooperation in the fight against corruption in IPEF countries and three anti-corruption workshops in the fall of 2024 to build IPEF partner capacity on key anti-corruption priority areas such as anti-bribery, asset recovery, and government procurement.  These workshops, which will be held in Malaysia and Vietnam, will enhance practitioners’ understanding and capacity on these topics, identify common challenges and good practices, strengthen cooperation among IPEF partners and relevant stakeholders, and develop follow-on activities at the national and international level to support Pillar 4’s anti-corruption objectives.

Promoting Labor Rights: In furtherance of its commitment to empowering workers across all the IPEF agreements, the United States plans to convene a Labor and Networks Discussion of IPEF partners, labor stakeholders, and employer stakeholders in August in the region to sustain progress already achieved on labor-related issues and discuss implementation of the labor provisions contained in the three agreements.

Going Forward: The IPEF partners remain focused on the period ahead and ensuring the long-term success of IPEF. During the Ministerial meeting, the IPEF partners reaffirmed their commitment to prioritize building upon the impressive work to date and will now take steps to operationalize the four Agreements with a focus on delivering positive and meaningful outcomes for their domestic stakeholders.

More specifically, all the IPEF partners will work expeditiously on their domestic processes for entry into force of the Clean Economy Agreement, Fair Economy Agreement, and Agreement on IPEF. For the Supply Chain Agreement, IPEF partners are committed to quickly standing up the Supply Chain Council, Crisis Response Network, and Labor Rights Advisory Board and to hold initial meetings of the bodies in the coming months.

Originally posted at https://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2024/06/fact-sheet-ipef-partners-highlight-continued-progress-advance-concrete

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