US announces Indo-Pacific economic part to counter China

They will be accounting for about 40% of the world's gross domestic product.

Insight Bureau: The U.S. government has announced its new economic grouping for the Indo-Pacific that will begin with 13 inaugural members. They will be accounting for about 40% of the world’s gross domestic product.

The 13 initial members of the group, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), are the U.S., Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei, the Biden administration said Monday.

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Taiwan was not included, nor were Myanmar or the China-friendly members of ASEAN, Cambodia and Laos.

Eleven of the 13 countries in the IPEF — all but India and the U.S. — are part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest trade bloc, and together account for 30% of the world’s GDP. China also belongs to RCEP.

Seven of the 13 countries — Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand — belong to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which the U.S. withdrew from in 2017 when it was known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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