14 nations sign agreements to strengthen supply chains, counters China

In a breakthrough for the bloc looking to reduce dependence on China, 14 countries including the US, India, Australia, Japan, Indonesia and Indonesia on Saturday delivered a “substantial conclusion to negotiations” for a supply chain deal under the Indo-Pacific Agreement announced economic partnership (IPEF).

The supply chain pillar aims to ensure that the countries that are part of the IPEF work together to deal with situations such as shortages of raw materials to manufacture vaccines or medicines, as was the case during Covid, “including unnecessary restrictions”. and trade barriers”.

In addition, countries can come together via an emergency communications network between IPEF partners to develop solutions to deal with disruptions in semiconductor supply or shipping lines. A crisis response network will be set up, along with a mechanism for mapping suppliers and professionals, and countries will be helped to mobilize investment.

A crucial element will be labor rights in the supply chain, which could create tensions for years to come, although the details of the proposed agreement have not been made public.

The first deal was struck just a year after leaders launched the initiative, with negotiations starting in the second half of 2022. The group is negotiating deals on four pillars, which also include clean economy, fair economy and trade , in which India is not involved the last.

The IPEF initiative is seen as the US government’s alliance with key Asian countries, some of which have had close ties with China in the past but now have estranged ties.

“IPEF partners will take the necessary steps, including further domestic consultations and a legal review, to prepare a final text of the proposed agreement.

Once the proposed agreement is finalized, it will be subject to IPEF partners’ domestic processes for signature, followed by ratification, acceptance or approval,” read a summary of the talks after a meeting in Detroit, suggesting that the agreement is so well as completed.

Indian officials could not be reached to comment on the deal, although a statement was issued giving a high-level overview. Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, who attended the meeting, called for swift implementation of “all action-oriented elements of cooperation and cooperation identified in the agreement,” it said in a statement.

Progress on the other three pillars are considered more time consuming as they deal with more complex issues.

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