Tai: U.S. to focus on multilateral cooperation

WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — The United States will further strengthen its multilateral cooperation, including with Japan and the European Union, this year in a bid to counter China, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Wednesday.

At a virtual event hosted by a think tank, Tai cited the realization of a new Indo-Pacific economic framework proposed by U.S. President Joe Biden and the trade cooperation among Japan, the United States and the EU as specific platforms to promote multilateral partnerships.

Since the launch of the Biden administration in January last year, the Office of the USTR has been promoting trade cooperation with Japan, the EU and other allies as part of efforts to ensure economic security to deal with threats from China.

This year, the United States will aim to build an economic bloc in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tai said this U.S.-led initiative is similar to the purpose of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, which was launched last year with China in mind.

The council is designed to create new rules for dealing with unfair trade practices and supply chain issues for semiconductors and other products.