Background - C&M International

Connected Economy

The connected economy pillar covers the majority of trade-related aspects of the IPEF agreement. This will include key provisions about the digital economy, trade facilitation, protecting the rights and raising standards of workers, as well as promoting good regulatory practices.

The negotiators for the Connected Economy pillar will focus on nine priority issue areas:

  • Labor;
  • Environment;
  • Digital economy;
  • Agriculture;
  • Transparency and good regulatory practices;
  • Fair competition;
  • Trade facilitation;
  • Inclusivity; and
  • Technical assistance and economic cooperation.

During the December 10-15 negotiating session, it was reported that USTR officials shared negotiating text for this pillar focusing on trade facilitation, agriculture, services domestic regulation, and transparency and good regulatory sessions. IPEF member nations have expressed a desire to achieve “early harvests.” The remaining topics are expected to be dealt with in detail soon, with USTR Tai predicting “timely results” from IPEF negotiations in 2023. At this current meeting, negotiators did hold “conceptual discussions” for the other pillar topics, namely the environment, labor, digital economy, competition policy, and inclusivity. India, the only IPEF member not to join the connected economy pillar, observed the pillar discussions as well.