U.S. to seek stronger labor, environmental standards in Asia


The U.S. is outlining its goals for a new trade deal with Australia, Japan, South Korea and nine other nations meant to signal the country's commitment to working with the Indo-Pacific region at a time of growing Chinese clout.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Friday released its negotiating objectives for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a deal with the 12 nations launched in May.

Among them, the U.S. wants the Indo-Pacific countries to improve their labor and environmental standards and ensure their markets remain open to competition, while also taking steps to ease supply-chain backlogs at border crossings.

After the Trump administration's clashes with U.S. allies, Asian countries have welcomed America’s reengagement in the region, which also comes at a time of considerable economic disruption arising from COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But many were disappointed the framework doesn’t lower tariffs or provide signatories with more access to the U.S. market.

The Obama administration had negotiated a detailed trade agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But President Donald Trump, saying the TPP and similar trade deals threaten American jobs, pulled out of the agreement in his first week in office. The other countries moved forward without the United States.

The Biden administration has no plans to rejoin the trade bloc and is instead promoting the Indo-Pacific framework. Critics consider the agreement a vague alternative to TPP.

Still, the administration noted that countries involved in the framework — also including Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — account for 40% of global GDP.

“The future of the 21st century economy is going to be largely written in the Indo-Pacific," the trade office said Friday. The framework “will help to drive sustainable growth for all our economies."

The Biden administration said its trade team would also seek to promote digital trade, among other things.

USTR is handling the trade aspects of the framework. The Commerce Department is overseeing three other framework initiatives involving improving supply chains and promoting a green economy and “fair’’ growth that emphasizes the rule of law and labor rights.

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Among them, the U.S. wants the Indo-Pacific countries to improve their labor and environmental standards

The US: We have done a good job of dismantling our formerly strong labor movement and opening up to predatory "market forces", and we will show you how to keep it that way.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Improving Labor and environmental standards depends on the level of economic development of the country in question in terms of ability. And political development in terms of willingness.

Then there are nations that simply wonlt listen to the US anyway.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Trying to keep his pet circus happy because China has them scared??..


-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Among them, the U.S. wants the Indo-Pacific countries to improve their labor and environmental standards

What? Every US government since Reagan has attempted to destroy all the hard fought gains in labour and environmental protection made since the 1850s, as is the current British government, whose intention seems to be a kind of neo-feudalism. Is this article some kind of a joke?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Alfie Noakes

Not a joke, just the usual PR job as most people don't research the facts you laid out.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

USA needs more slaves in the name of freedom

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

in other words.

USA is afraid of rising influence of China in their backyard.as simple as is.rest is just pure ps/sorry abt mistyping/.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Why can’t America get its head around the fact that there is an Asian continent and an American continent ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Because the USA is too busy playing the superhero and over-inflationary flatulence has taken over.

Hence global warming

Meanwhile the pandemic is over in USA but they're still working on it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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