Remarks by Ambassador Katherine Tai at the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial Welcome Event

September 08, 2022

LOS ANGELES – Ambassador Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo today welcomed ministers from the 13 IPEF partner countries to the first-ever in-person Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Tai highlighted how the IPEF will be a 21st century tool to tackle 21st century issues, including supply chain resilience and digital commerce.

Ambassador Tai's remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Good morning, everyone.
It is great to be back in Los Angeles.  It is especially great to host our IPEF partners in this beautiful city.  I would like to thank the staff here at the J.W. Marriott for their hospitality.
As you know, Los Angeles is world leader in many areas — and not just in traffic jams.  This is where the Internet was born, in 1969, when the first ARPANET transmission was sent from UCLA to the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park. 
It is also home to the Port of Los Angeles, which has long been the leading gateway for trade between the U.S. and Asia.
So, it is fitting that we are gathered here as we continue to innovate how we approach trade policy.
While we are all facing global economic challenges – the IPEF – and our meetings over the course of the next two days – presents us with an opportunity to deepen our partnerships and work collectively to address these challenges.   
The IPEF will also allow us to work together to build a platform to address future challenges and bring sustainable and equitable growth to the Indo-Pacific region.
Since our leaders launched the IPEF in May, we have worked to build out the IPEF based on our shared priorities and values, including combating climate change, protecting labor rights, and building resilient supply chains. 
And we are making progress.
IPEF members first met virtually in May, shortly after the launch.  We then met in Paris in June to discuss our vision on how the trade pillar can advance resilience, inclusivity, and sustainability.  We met again in July to continue our talks, where we reaffirmed our collective goal to pursue a high-standard and inclusive economic framework. 
And today, we are here—in person—to continue our momentum, to fill in the details of our shared vision on issues like the digital economy, labor, environment, agriculture, and trade facilitation.  It is energizing to be in the same room with all of you, and this energy will carry us through our discussions across the Framework’s ambitious components.
On the digital economy, we want to build connectivity and trust between key markets, including standards on cross-border data flows and data localization.  We are also working to address related issues such as online privacy and artificial intelligence.
To address the serious flaws in our supply chains exposed by the pandemic, we are pursuing an accelerated implementation of the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement, which will streamline the movement of goods across borders.
We are also supporting agricultural trade through science-based decision making and the adoption of sound, transparent regulatory practices.  This will help our farmers, ranchers, and fishers deliver their products to markets throughout the region.
And critically, we will continue establishing strong labor and environmental standards and corporate accountability provisions to building the foundation for sustainable growth.
This Framework will be a durable model for the rest of the world to follow.  It will unlock enormous economic value for our region, especially for small businesses—like the 200,000 small businesses that call Los Angeles their home.  It will also promote resilience and benefit working families and our planet.
The IPEF is our commitment to the region, to its people, that, as fellow citizens, the United States will fight for the common good to ensure that the next generation inherits a better world.
And no one nation can go at it alone.  This is truly a partnership, a team effort.  Doing trade the right way means taking steps forward with all, for all—and we are doing just that.  I express my gratitude to our IPEF partners and to all of you here today.  We are making progress, and I look forward to continuing our discussions this week and in the months ahead.
Thank you.