Biden arrives in Tokyo to seek support for the economic plan

TOKYO – President Biden on Sunday began the second chapter of his diplomatic tour in Asia, pivoting from reassuring allies about the threat posed by North Korea to rallying nations behind the New Economic Policy for his administration of the Indo-Pacific.

During a three-day swing in Japan, Mr. Biden will meet with a string of leaders — including those from Australia, India and Japan — as he advances a new economic agenda five years after the Trump administration pulled the United States out of the far-reaching trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific. Partnership, or TPP

The plan seems to be the core behind Mr. Biden has vowed to engage allies and assert American influence in the region, while also confronting China. Although it would be much less sweeping than TPP, the mr. Biden aid said the new plan, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, will set standards for the digital economy, clean energy and supply chain resilience.

But the lack of clarity in the economic approach to the region, which is what the master said. Biden has said it is a priority on his foreign policy agenda, raising the suspicions of some allies. The administration has yet to say how many countries have signed the new cooperation agreement, while Beijing has intensified its criticism of the new policy.

“We expect that in addition to the countries joining the launch tomorrow, others will come in the coming months and years,” said Jake Sullivan, Mr. Jake Sullivan. Biden’s national security adviser told reporters on Air Force One. “It is an economic arrangement that focuses on the further integration of the Indo-Pacific economies, setting standards and norms, particularly in new areas such as the digital economy, as well as trying to ensure secure and resilient supply chains.”

in Tokyo, mr. Sullivan said Taiwan would not be among those who signed the new agreement.

Mr. Biden will have to persuade allies to reject Beijing’s criticism and sign off on the plan, although the administration is not expected to open the US market as part of the agreement.

said Aaron Connelly, Research Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore.

Mr. Biden’s arrival in Tokyo comes after capping a series of meetings with the newly inaugurated South Korean president, Yoon Suk Yeol. The two leaders discussed a number of economic initiatives, including strategies to combat the semiconductor shortage that has driven up prices. But the threat posed by North Korea looms large on the visit, which US officials have touted as an attempt to reassure allies that the United States remains focused on confronting China.

North Korea has yet to conduct any missile tests on Sunday, despite warnings from the Biden administration that it might do so while the president is in the South. Asked on Sunday whether intelligence indicated that the government in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, could still go ahead with a test, including that of a nuclear device, Mr. “Oh, yeah. Yeah,” Sullivan said.

But the administration is now seeking to rally allies behind Beijing’s challenge. While in Tokyo, Mr. Biden will meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese, Australia’s newly elected prime minister, during the summit of the Quartet, a bloc formed by growing concern about China’s military footprint in Asia. and parts of the Indian Ocean. Mr. Biden called mr. Albanese, who elected Saturday, to congratulate him.

But throughout the trip in South Korea, it was Mr. Biden also noted his problems and domestic policy priorities. He visited Samsung’s semiconductor plant to show his administration’s focus on chip shortages, as well as mobilize Congress to pass legislation that would ramp up manufacturing.

After a private mass in Seoul on Sunday morning, Mr. Biden joined Hyundai’s leadership to celebrate the company’s plan to build a new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in Savannah, Ga.

Mr. Biden said the facility will create 8,000 jobs, continuing the administration’s strategy of signaling job growth as Republican lawmakers tighten attacks on rising inflation. “These investments are part of the direction of my government,” Mr. Biden said, adding that it would help the White House meet its clean energy commitments. “Manufacturing jobs are returning to America.”

Mr. Biden coined the investment as a result of the work of his administration and Democratic Senators from Georgia, Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff.

But just days ago, the same company sent an executive to Georgia to stand up for Gov. Brian Kemp, Republican, to celebrate investing. “It will continue to bring wealth and opportunity to the region,” El-Sayed said. Kemp said.

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