Don’t rush to join new framework

THE Biden administration announced its proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) during President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Japan. The United States, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are reportedly included in the proposed new pact while others may join later.

A preliminary review of the IPEF by the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) reveals that US multinational companies are openly pushing for provisions that would prevent the Malaysian government from preferentially purchasing from our local companies. This especially undermines domestic manufacturing in current times, particularly small and medium- sized firms that are just recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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