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Canada to apply to join US Indo-Pacific Alliance



(OTTAWA) Canada, with the support of the United States, will apply to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced Thursday.

In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Mélanie Joly said the two countries aim to “further harmonize their approaches” in the Indo-Pacific region.

“In order to strengthen economic cooperation in the region, I am pleased to announce that Canada will seek membership in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, commonly known as IPEF,” added the Minister.

The Biden administration launched this new business partnership this year to bolster its presence in a region that has felt neglected under President Donald Trump.

As part of his isolationist “America first” policy, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Asia-focused trade deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), of which Canada is a part.

A decision that had been criticized for ceding ground to China in an economically crucial region of the world.

For his part, Antony Blinken said the United States would “support Canada, a Pacific nation, joining this framework” and that over the next few months it would consult with other members on Canada’s request.

The first IPEF meetings were held in Los Angeles in September, bringing together the United States, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

After two days of negotiations, member countries endorsed a joint declaration to commit to cooperation in four areas: trade (notably the digital economy), supply chains (affected by the COVID-19 pandemic ), green energies and the fight against corruption.

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