Biden to unveil trade initiative in Asia

Biden to unveil trade initiative in Asia

President Joe Biden meets with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo and unveils a multinational trade initiative Monday as part of his push to reinvigorate US strategic power across Asia.

Biden will have talks with Japanese Emperor Naruhito on the Imperial Palace after a three-day visit to another key US ally, South Korea.

US officials describe Japan and South Korea as linchpins in Washington's pushback against rising Chinese military and military power, as well as partners in a Western-led alliance to isolate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Biden joined the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan for a summit of the Quad group, which reinforces the theme of American leadership in the Asia-Pacific.

Biden praised Australia's prime minister Anthony Albanese for his decision to attend the summit this weekend.

The White House said that this is a good opportunity to exchange views and continue to drive practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, using the administration's term for the Asia-Pacific region.

Quadruple India is outraged by the fact that it refuses to condemn Moscow or cut trade with Russia. Biden will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

Biden's Asia tour has a fear that North Korea will test a nuclear-capable missile or a bomb, and there is a hang over every step of Biden's Asia tour.

Speculation that this could happen while Biden was just across the border in Seoul didn't materialise over the weekend.

The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that the threat remains and that the dictatorship has a choice.

If North Korea acts, we'll be prepared to respond. If North Korea doesn't act, North Korea has the opportunity to come to the table, as we've said repeatedly, he said.

Pyongyang has so far refused to answer the United States' appeal for dialogue, officials say, even ignoring offers of help to combat a sudden mass outbreak of Covid - 19, according to Biden.

The White House said that the situation will be on the agenda for the Biden-Kishida talks, as well as their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific US diplomatic code for maintaining the status quo with a rising China.

The two are expected to make a statement on the need for stability in the Taiwan Strait, as concerns rises about Chinese pressure on the island.

Kishida is expected to announce plans for increased defence spending in a country whose constitution limits the military to defence, a sensitive issue in a country with a constitution that Japan worries about regional tensions.

After holding a joint press conference with Kishida, Biden will unveil a long-awaited trade initiative that will cement the US presence in the region - dubbed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for ProsperityIndo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF.

IPEF is being touted by Washington as a framework for what will eventually become a tight knit group of trading nations.

Unlike traditional trade blocs, there is no plan for IPEF members to negotiate tariffs and ease market access - a tool that has become increasingly unpopular among American voters fearful of undermining homegrown manufacturing.

The programme anticipates integrating the trading partners with agreed standards in four main areas: the digital economy, supply chains, clean energy infrastructure and anti-corruption measures.

The White House has so far been tight-lipped about how many countries are signing up and it has questions about how agreed standards of behaviour between the partners can be enforced.

There is no political appetite within the United States for a binding Asian trade deal following Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017.

In 2018 the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was revived without US membership.