The Truth About Indo-Pacific Trade Folly
The Bloomberg editorial board published a searing critique of the Biden administration for failing to advance the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” (IPEF) during the recent APEC Summit in San Francisco.
Bloomberg blames “pressure from Democrats in Congress and doubts among its own officials.” Not wrong.
But Bloomberg thinks that without IPEF:
the US stands to lose not just the economic benefits of closer cooperation on trade but also the geopolitical gains from restoring its leadership in setting rules and, above all, conducting itself as a consistent and reliable partner.
The stakes of IPEF are not what Bloomberg and Wall Street think they are.
IPEF 1) was a product of Big Tech lobbying, 2) doesn’t address any of the economic problems facing Asia, and 3) fails to realize the structural realities of Asian political economy (which are built around China, not the US).
The mistake the Biden administration made was letting Kurt Campbell champion a fake economic initiative in the first place, only to be forced to partially pull it back because of the likely labor consequences of the clown show it represented.
Let me explain.