India has for now opted to stay out of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework’s (IPEF) trade pillar. The IPEF has four pillars with the member nations given flexibility to choose which pillars they want to be part of.



  • Recently, first in-person ministerial meeting of IPEF was held in Los Angeles.
  • At this meeting, India was represented by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal.
  • India decided to join three pillars of IPEF —
    • India has joined the supply chain, decarbonisation and infrastructure, and anti-tax and corruption pillars of the IPEF.
    • However, it has decided to remain out of the trade pillar.
  • Reasons for India not joining the trade pillar —
    • So far, official reason has not been given.
    • However, trade experts say India may have some genuine concerns regarding certain aspects of the trade pillar that perhaps go beyond WTO obligations.


About the ‘Indo-Pacific Economic Framework’

  • The fair and resilient trade module will be led by the US Trade Representative and include digital, labour, and environment issues, with some binding commitments.
  • The IPEF will not include market access commitments such as lowering tariff barriers, as the agreement is more of an administrative arrangement.
  • Biden first spoke about the IPEF at the October 2021 East Asia Summit but it was launched in May 2022 during his trip to the East Asia (at Tokyo).
  • The IPEF includes different modules (four pillars) covering —
      • fair and resilient trade,
      • supply chain resilience,
      • infrastructure and decarbonisation, and
      • tax and anti-corruption.
  • These pillars will have specific modules. Countries would have to sign up to all of the components within a module, but do not have to participate in all modules.


Key pillars of the IPEF

  • Trade pillar —
      • The meeting outlined an ambitious agenda which will entail — more robust efforts to promote a rules-based, transparent and clean trading system.
  • Supply chain pillar —
      • Member countries committed to improving transparency, diversity, security and sustainability in supply chains to make them more resilient, robust and well-integrated.
      • Greater information sharing, crisis response mechanism, and investment in supply chains, including identification of critical sectors and critical goods (within critical sectors) to minimise disruptions.
      • This will entail —
        • identifying sectors critical to national security, health and safety of citizens, and economic resilience; establish criteria to identify goods that fall within these sectors; and
        • developing a process to identify the related raw material inputs, manufacturing or processing capabilities, logistics facilitation and story needs.
      • Partner countries have then agreed to increase resilience and investment in these critical sectors.
        • This will involve identifying choke points within supply chains.
  • Clean economy —
      • Member countries agreed to accelerate efforts in pursuit of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation and elimination, enhanced energy security and climate resilience and adaptation.
      • They have also agreed on the goal to reduce emissions across priority sectors, recognised the importance of sustainable land use and water solutions.
      • Creating incentives to facilitate the clean energy transition.
      • Collaboration on green technology.
  • Fair economy —
      • They have agreed to work on anti-corruption by effectively implementing and accelerating progress on the UN Convention against Corruption, standards of the Financial Action Task Force.
      • On taxation, IPEF members have agreed to pursue exchange of information between tax authorities in line with international standards, and support global and regional efforts to improve tax administration, among other steps.