US-led Indo-Pacific framework isn’t shifting regional trade away from China

By David Uren, a senior fellow at ASPI.

US efforts to encourage Indo-Pacific nations to diversify their trade away from China confront a well-established trend towards deeper regional integration, according to a report by the US-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.
The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), launched by US President Joe Biden last year, was intended to help 14 Indo-Pacific nations pursue ‘friend-shoring’ and ‘near-shoring’ of their supply lines.
While there have tentative signs of a shift in Australia’s imports away from China in recent months, the trend over the past decade for both Australia and the Asian region has been for far deeper integration with China.
The Peterson Institute study found that of the 14 nations targeted by the IPEF, all except for Japan and the United States had deepened their dependence on imported Chinese manufactured goods over the past decade.