Following a meeting of participants in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in which work on three of the four pillars was concluded, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said only that the meeting “took stock of the progress” in talks over the past year on the fourth pillar, which covers trade issues. USTR said progress is being made in trade facilitation, inclusivity, technical assistance and economic cooperation, and agriculture, among other issues. Work on this pillar will continue but no schedule of further negotiations was announced.
Trade ministers for countries belonging to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum issued a statement Nov. 17 following their annual meeting that included the following provisions.
– supported “necessary reform to improve all of the WTO’s functions”
– committed to further advance economic integration in the region, including through work on APEC’s Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific
– pledged to further their work on port and border cooperation and single window interoperability
– encouraged economies to promote digitization of trade procedures by developing and implementing paperless trade facilitation measures
According to Prensa Latina, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic have agreed to begin negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement and recently signed a memorandum of understanding that “lays the foundations for determining the scope, methods, modalities and a schedule of future negotiations.”
The U.S.-Norway Comprehensive Dialogue for Commerce and Sustainability was launched Nov. 17 to deepen trade and investment cooperation in industries supporting the green transition such as offshore wind, advanced batteries, critical minerals, clean hydrogen, carbon management, and the maritime industry.
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