The US government said Tuesday it will host the first in-person ministerial talks on an Indo-Pacific economic cooperation plan in Los Angeles on Sept. 8 and 9, advancing an initiative launched earlier this year.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai will co-host the meeting with ministerial-level officials from the 13 other members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, including Australia, India, Japan and South Korea.
Japanese government sources said earlier the participants in the Los Angeles event will try to reach an agreement to launch formal negotiations for the US-led trade initiative, which was unveiled by President Joe Biden in May with the aim of countering China’s growing economic influence.
The Commerce Department said Raimondo and Tai will hold discussions with the other participants on the framework’s four pillars — trade, supply chains, clean energy and infrastructure, and tax and anti-corruption rules.
The member countries have held online consultations involving ministerial-level and working-level officials since the initiative was launched “to develop a high-standard and inclusive economic framework” that will fuel investment and promote sustainable economic growth, the department said.
From Japan, economy and trade minister Yasutoshi Nishimura plans to attend next month’s negotiations, the sources said. The group also includes Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.