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Biden’s IPEF Plan Gets Lukewarm Reaction in Asia

U.S. President Joe Biden is greeted by Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi upon arrival in Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Tokyo prefecture on May 22, 2022. SAUL LOEB / AFP

U.S. President Joe Biden is in Asia for his first official presidential visit to South Korea and Japan. One of the main goals of the trip, which kicked off on Friday, is to promote the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) to Asian governments. 

IPEF is aimed at promoting shared standards to promote fair and resilient trade, focusing on enhanced labor, environmental, tax and corruption standards. However, the deal contains no incentives in the form of lower tariffs or enhanced access to U.S. markets. Stakeholders across the region expressed their disappointment at this gap, and a pervasive ambivalence about IPEF as a whole.

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