US President Joe Biden has started a new economic plan to counter the influence of China in Asia. He has also named the 12 regional partners who will work together on shared standards in areas like clean energy and 5G network improvements.
In his first trip as president to Japan, Biden gave a speech on Monday about the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. He talked about four important pillars: trade, supply chains, sustainable energy, and infrastructure, as well as taxes and fighting corruption.
The White House, meanwhile, said that the framework, which is based on these pillars, will make sure that supply chains in the region get stronger, which will protect consumers from having to pay more.
Biden said in Tokyo, “We’re here today for one simple reason: the Indo-Pacific is where the 21st-century economy will be written in large part.”
“[The framework is a promise to] improve security and trust in the digital economy, protect workers, strengthen supply chains, and fight corruption, which keeps countries from being able to help their citizens.
Biden also said that the framework would work to get rid of important bottlenecks in the supply chain, get rid of carbon from the economy, move toward clean energy, and create “early warning systems” to find problems before they happen.
Biden said, “Let’s start by making new rules for trade in digital goods and services so that companies don’t have to give up their secret technology to do business in a country.”
Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are among the 12 partners in the region.
Except for Australia and India, all of these partners also signed on to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The framework is Biden’s latest attempt to keep US support in the Asia-Pacific region after former President Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017.
Also, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said that his country would support the framework and that South Korea would now sign the Declaration for the Future of the Internet.
Google said that it expects a stronger commitment to cybersecurity collaboration in the region and a commitment to the free flow of data between countries and businesses as a result of the announcement.
Google said, “Now is the time for Indo-Pacific countries to plan a bold, inclusive, and sustainable way forward to deal with common problems and take advantage of the great opportunities the digital economy can bring.”