China News Service, May 25th. From the US-ASEAN summit to the "Asia trip", the Biden administration has repeatedly tried to "sell" its "Indo-Pacific Economic Framework" (IPEF), and officially announced the launch of the framework on the 23rd local time.

In this regard, Aljazeera recently published an analysis saying that the "Indo-Pacific Economic Framework" lacks clear trade terms and is struggling in Asia. Even traditional US allies are worried about being "abandoned" by the United States again.

Data map: US President Biden.

Image source: Visual China

Ambiguous content, anxiety in Asian countries

  Many details of the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” have yet to be finalized, but the Biden administration has made it clear that the plan is not a traditional trade deal that reduces tariffs or otherwise opens up U.S. market access, the report said.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework also lacks clear trade terms.

  To that end, Calvin Cheng, senior analyst for economics, trade and regional integration at the Malaysian Institute for Strategic and International Studies, pointed out, “You can feel the frustration of trade-dependent developing countries.” He added, “ There is always talk of the idea of ​​involving Asia, but what is it — and what are the incentives for developing countries to adopt standards that rich, developed countries impose on them?”

  Since its conception of the "Indo-Pacific Economic Framework" in October 2021, the Biden administration has described the initiative as a way to promote common standards under a fair and resilient trade pillar that also addresses supply chain resilience, infrastructure and decarbonization , as well as taxation and anti-corruption.

The White House also described the framework in February as part of a broader effort to "restore American leadership in the region" by working with allies.

  Still, the report noted that Biden’s decision not to seek a major trade deal is reminiscent of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist leanings, especially the Trump administration’s abrupt withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). .

Trump's distaste for traditional alliances has sparked anxiety in many Asian countries.

  Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Trin also said at the ASEAN summit recently that Vietnam is "willing to cooperate with the United States to realize the four pillars of the initiative."

But Pham added that Vietnam needs more time to study the framework and see more "specific details".

On May 23, local time, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held talks with visiting U.S. President Joe Biden at the State Guest House in Tokyo.

Weak promises, allies worry about being "abandoned" again

  Traditional allies of the United States cannot hide their concerns about the "promise" of the Biden administration.

Japan is one of America's staunch allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

But former Japanese officials have been outspoken in their criticism of the so-called "Indo-Pacific economic framework."

  Earlier this month, at an event in Washington earlier this month, former Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono and former justice minister Takashi Yamashita spoke of the new framework's lack of hard commitments.

The pair also insisted in their comments that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework would only undermine the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, formerly the TPP).

  "Now that the Biden administration is talking about the 'Indo-Pacific economy,' I would say forget it," Kono said.

  Hiroaki Watanabe, a professor of international relations at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, also said the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership has weakened Japan's view of the stability of the "Indo-Pacific economic framework", although Biden may promote it during his administration the framework, but there is no guarantee that the next president will do so.

  “It’s a Biden administration now, but we don’t know what’s going to happen next — maybe even Trump again,” Watanabe said. “From a non-American perspective, when the U.S. says it’s committed to these programs , it's really hard to believe what it's saying."

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