U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday the United States will start negotiations with allies early next year on a new Indo-Pacific economic framework.

Raimondo, who arrived in Singapore the previous day after a visit to Japan, said during a forum that the framework would be aimed at securing supply chains.

Gina Raimondo. (Getty/Kyodo)

“I’m here in the region beginning the discussions, laying the groundwork” for the negotiations, Raimondo said. “We are likely to launch a more formal process in the beginning of next year, which will culminate in a proper economic framework in the region.”

Raimondo’s tour of Japan, Singapore and later Malaysia comes on the heels of U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement last month about developing an Indo-Pacific economic framework to define “shared objectives” with partners on trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology.

The framework…

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