What impact will the Indo-Pacific trade announcement have on the global economy? | WDVM25 and DCW50

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden is taking new steps on global trade. He announced on Tuesday a partnership with a dozen other Indo-Pacific countries.

The president painted an optimistic view of the new Indo-Pacific economic framework.

“Sign up to work towards an economic vision that will benefit everyone,” Biden said.

Susan Aaronson is a professor of international affairs at George Washington University. She says right now the framework is really just ideas, not substantive commitments.

“A framework that nations have agreed to discuss further. But that’s all we have, and that’s a big maybe,” Aaronson said.

The framework outlines plans for the 13 included countries to discuss possible rules for digital goods, supply chain commitments and clean energy goals.

“This framework should lead to a race to the top among nations in the Indo-Pacific region,” Biden said.

Without binding rules, Professor Aaronson says the framework won’t have much impact on trade or the US economy. Instead, it simply signals to markets that nations are trying to find common ground.

“We can model until the cows come home. But that’s not a fact. No one knows what impact this will have,” Aaronson said.

Even so, she thinks the framework is a positive step on the part of the Biden administration.

“Trying to move creatively to make rules, but he’s been crippled by Congress not wanting to move a trade deal forward,” Aaronson said.

In Congress, many lawmakers say they are focused on immediate trade and supply chain issues that drive up costs. Senator Marsha Blackburn wants to see the Biden administration get tough on China.

“China should be held accountable to uphold the trade agreement currently in place,” the Tennessee Republican said.

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