Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the launch event for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, in Tokyo, May 23, 2022 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).
Just before the White House launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF, in Tokyo last month, Taro Kono, the former Japanese foreign and defense minister, offered a blunt recommendation: Deriding the IPEF as the “Indo-Pacific Economic whatever,” Kono urged the U.S. to “forget” it and rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP. During his press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida welcomed the IPEF but echoed Kono’s advice, stressing the strategic significance of a U.S. return to the CPTPP, which is essentially the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that then-President Barack Obama effectively [...]
Vietnam’s trade minister, Tran Tuan Anh, left, and Japan’s minister of economic revitalization, Toshimitsu Motegi, shake hands at a press conference, Danang, Vietnam, Nov. 11, 2017 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
On the sidelines of the leaders’ summit for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, or APEC, earlier this month in Vietnam, the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—the mega-regional free trade pact that includes Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei—agreed on most elements of a deal to salvage it in the form of a new, so-called TPP-11. In late January, in one of the first moves after taking office as U.S. president, Donald Trump followed through on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from what had been Barack Obama’s signature economic achievement [...]
Peruvian President Pedro Kuczynski welcomes Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to the opening session of the 2016 APEC summit, Lima, Peru, Nov. 20, 2016 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).
On Nov. 10, Australia and Peru concluded a free trade agreement while leaders of both countries were attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. Free trade negotiations between the two countries began in May following the U.S. decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the major multilateral free trade deal that involved 11 other Pacific Rim countries, including Australia and Peru. In an email interview, John Edwards, a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute and adjunct professor with the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy at Curtin University, explains why Australia and Peru moved forward with their own free trade [...]
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