IPEF ministers fail to reach broad agreement on trade

The partners in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity failed to reach broad agreement on trade on Monday.

Ministers from the 14 IPEF member nations including Japan, the United States, India and Australia, are holding two days of talks in San Francisco.

Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi and Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko attended the meeting.

Nishimura told reporters '' We could not reach complete agreement on trade. But we saw progress in many areas, so I think we achieved results.''

The IPEF members want to strengthen ties in four economic areas to counter China's growing influence in the region. They largely settled negotiations on supply-chain security when ministers met in May.

Officials say the participating countries confirmed their understanding on some trade topics, including announcing information about trade procedures online, and efforts to make customs documentation paperless.

But they say ministers were unable to narrow their differences over regulating data circulation, an area expected to have positive economic effects. They were also divided on banning imports of goods produced with forced labor.

Tuesday's talks will focus on the remaining two areas.
They are a "clean economy" aimed at promoting investments toward carbon neutrality, and a "fair economy" including anti-corruption measures.