The United States began negotiations for a more traditional trade deal in the Pacific during the Obama administration, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal was designed to strengthen America’s commercial ties in the Pacific, as a bulwark to China’s growing influence over the region. It cut tariffs on auto parts and agricultural products and established stronger intellectual property protections for pharmaceuticals, among many other changes.
But the Trans-Pacific Partnership ended up creating deep divisions among both Republicans and Democrats, with some politicians in both parties arguing it would hollow out American industry. Former President Donald J. Trump withdrew the United States from that deal, and Japan, Australia and other members put the agreement into effect without the United States.
The Indo-Pacific Framework includes some of the same countries as the Pacific deal, as well as India, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines and Thailand. But the Biden administration argues that the agreement is designed to better protect American workers and the environment.
“The I.P.E.F. is not a traditional trade deal,” Katherine Tai, the United States trade representative, said Saturday in Detroit. “It is our vision, our new vision for how our economies can collaborate to deliver real opportunities for our people.”
“We’re not just trying to maximize the efficiencies of globalization,” Ms. Tai added. “We’re trying to promote sustainability, resilience and inclusiveness.”
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