US selects negotiators for Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

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(Bloomberg) – President Joe Biden’s administration has selected top staff negotiators to lead talks on a long-awaited economic venture for Asia that he plans to inaugurate during his trip to the region starting Friday, according to people familiar with the plan.

Sharon Yuan, a veteran of the Treasury Department who worked on the Abandoned Trans-Pacific Partnership, has been appointed to oversee the work of staff at key points in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF, whose names have not been released. To discuss measures.

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The Commerce Department, which will play a key role in discussing the framework, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s staff will be led by Don Shackleford, USTR Assistant for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, according to the people. Shackleford will work with Deputy USTR Sarah Bianchi, the Biden recruiter who is running the agency’s efforts, according to an official who asked not to be named.

The IPEF is the key to the Biden administration’s efforts to counter China’s influence in Asia following the US withdrawal from negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade agreement under former President Donald Trump.

The pillars of the structure operated by the Commerce Department include clean energy, supply-chain resilience; Decarbonization and infrastructure; And anti-tax and anti-corruption. The Office of the US Trade Representative promotes fair and resilient trade. The administration is also working to include digital issues such as localization and cross-border flow of data.

Yuan, a lawyer, joined Commerce last year as president of the Asia Group, a Washington-based strategic advisory body co-founded by Kurt Campbell, who is now the Indo-Pacific Affairs Coordinator at the National Security Council. Shackleford previously served as USTR Assistant to the World Trade Organization and Multilateral Affairs.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raymondo and USTR Catherine are therefore set to travel with Biden for the official opening of the initiative during his five-day visit to South Korea and Japan.

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