Biden seeks to create an "economic framework" for the Indo-Pacific, a strategy to deal with China.


The US president made the announcement during his virtual participation in the East Asia summit but did not yet offer more details about this policy.

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he would try to develop an "economic framework for the Indo-Pacific," a policy on which he offered little details but which would represent a new step in his strategy to counter the strength of China.

Biden announced his virtual participation in the East Asia Summit, organized within the framework of the meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government and State and external partners. This year is being held telematically due to COVID-19.

The White House said in a statement following Biden's intervention that "President Biden has announced that the United States will work with allies to develop an economic framework for the Indo-Pacific."

This framework will "define the shared goals" of the United States and the Indo-Pacific countries "in terms of trade facilitation, standards for the economy and digital technology, the resilience of supply chains, decarbonization and clean energy," pointed out the White House.

The framework will also allow the resolution of "other issues of common interest" such as "infrastructure and standards for workers".

The White House did not immediately give more details on what that economic framework would entail if it could involve the development of a new multilateral trade agreement four years after former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement). ).

Since coming to power in January, Biden has avoided engaging in any trade deal negotiations, preferring to focus on revitalizing the US economy domestically.

Some experts, however, have warned that the United States is giving free rein to China, which last year signed the most significant free trade agreement in the world, called the Regional Economic Association (RCEP), with a dozen Asian and Oceanic countries.

Aaron Connelly, a Southeast Asian specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, opined on Twitter that Biden's announcement "will probably help" reduce criticism that the White House "does not have an answer to China in the first place. economic plan".

The White House has promised to present next year an initiative, which has the support of the G7, to invest in infrastructure in developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and the Indo-Pacific, to be called Build back better. For the world.

Speaking at the East Asia summit, Biden also "expressed concern about threats" to the "rules-based international order," and made it clear that "the United States will continue to support its allies" on "democracy, human rights, legality and freedom of navigation," according to the White House.

The United States, China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand participated in the summit above and those of almost all ASEAN partner countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Laos. Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The only ASEAN partner that was absent from the summit was Burma, due to the reluctance of the military junta to follow the agreements reached in April within that multilateral association to solve the deep crisis that the country is experiencing after the coup of Status February 1.