U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai has been traveling the world with a message of trust in trade.
At the USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum last week, Tai talked about that trust as it relates to trade with the Indo-Pacific region and the advancements that have been made.
“We are working on developing an economic framework that the president has called for with the Indo-Pacific,” she says. “It’s going to be a framework to deepen our economic relationships with the countries and economies in this region and to coordinate our approaches to these global challenges.”
Tai says the talks between the U.S. and countries in this region have grown to be more intense than they were back in 2015.
“Today, the challenges we’re facing really focus on a couple of themes,” she says. “One is the theme of resilience. Coming back to the sense of trust and rebuilding confidence. Part of that means we have to bring something new to the conversation. We have to acknowledge the experience we’ve had in the last five to seven years that require us to adapt. We can’t revert back to the way we were thinking in the plans we were making five to seven years ago.”
A focus on sustainability has also changed during that time.
“We are now even more conscious than we were before about the need our economies and our engagement with other economies need to be supporting sustainability with respect to our planet and with respect to our people,” says Tai. “The people who help us produce, but also the people who we need to be empowered to consume the products we produce.”
She adds that inclusion has been important in these trade talks to make sure all economic policy doesn’t leave those countries and areas further behind. There is also a theme to build trust through different competitive practices.
“In terms of the framework we’re building out, we are looking to set standards that promote fair and open competition. With respect to our farmer, ranchers, or agricultural stakeholders, looking for ways of engaging with our partners that are focused on inclusive growth.”