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One, the fact that this is not a traditional free trade agreement is a feature of IPEF not a bug. There are free trade traditionalists who have raised questions about it. Our fundamental view is that the new landscape and the new challenges we face need a new approach, and we will shape the substance of this effort together with our partners.




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AMBASSADOR TAI: Thank you so much, Gina. I will spend some time to talk about the trade pillar. From day one of his administration, President Biden has been clear that we have to rethink what trade policy can be in the 21st century and that it must benefit more people.


For decades, trade policy was often reduced to a zero-sum game that left many of our workers behind. And that is why we are designing trade policies that aim to deliver real economic prosperity and advance our global priorities, like combating climate change, protecting labor rights, and building resilient supply chains. These issues are not mutually exclusive; we can and must do both.


At its core, the Economic Framework will link major economies and emerging ones to tackle 21st century challenges and promote fair and resilient trade for years to come. At the same time, it will be designed to adapt to address barriers and obstacles that may arise in the future as well.


We will work with our IPEF partners on a wide range of trade issues, including the digital economy and emerging technology, labor commitments, the environment, trade facilitation, transparency and good regulatory practices, and corporate accountability.


Collectively, the trade pillar will unlock enormous economic value, including for small- and medium-sized businesses that historically have not benefited from trade agreements as much as their large counterparts have.


While these provisions will help promote inclusive economic prosperity, we also want this framework be part of our broader strategy to make trade a race to the top. And that is why the IPEF will pursue an agenda for setting strong labor and environmental standards and corporate accountability provisions.


The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) announce the availability of $25 million in funding to improve access to training and employment opportunities for women, non-binary and underserved populations within the building and construction trades. The Equal Representation in Construction Apprenticeship (ERiCA) grant funds will be used to cover childcare costs and improve outreach.


The Equal Representation in Construction Apprenticeship (ERiCA) grant can help organizations that are already working to assist women, non-binary and underserved communities to enter the construction trades. Community-based organizations, local education agencies, workforce boards, unions and other organizations that support equity in the construction industry are eligible to apply.


Services are being increasingly traded online. This includes information technology (IT), professional, financial, retail, and education services. New digital services, such as cloud computing, have been developed and are becoming crucial business inputs.


Global data flows underpin global value chains (GVC), creating new opportunities for participation in international trade. The global internet and data flows enable businesses to plug into GVCs to offer their own specific service. Again, in the case of Korea for example, this is a particular opportunity for new and smaller Korean firms to participate in supply chains in Asia.


Trade rules are important as enablers of digital trade and as brakes on government regulation that can restrict digital trade opportunities. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was negotiated in the late 1980s and early 1990s before the internet flourished. Yet, WTO rules are relevant for digital trade. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is particularly relevant given the increasing scope for services trade. Where WTO members have made a commitment to allow the delivery of a service, they must also allow data to flow across borders where that is needed for the delivery of the service. As a result, data localization measures that increase the burden on foreign suppliers, such as by requiring a local presence, could be inconsistent with the GATS national treatment commitment. A WTO member could seek to justify a data localization measure under the GATS Article XIV exception provision, as being necessary to achieve an enumerated list of public policy exceptions.


Services are a major part of the global economy, generating more than two-thirds of global gross domestic product (GDP), attracting over three-quarters of foreign direct investment in advanced economies, employing the most workers, and creating most new jobs globally. Services have always been traded. International transportation is as old as trade itself, and financial and insurance services followed shortly after.


The STRI toolkit can support policymakers to scope out reform options, benchmark them relative to global best practice, and assess their likely effects; for trade negotiators to clarify restrictions that most impede trade, and for businesses to shed light on the requirements that traders must comply with when entering foreign markets.


The main findings from our analytical work on trade and services suggest that policymakers consider adopting whole-of-government strategies to capitalise on the demonstrated potential of co-ordinated services trade policy and regulatory reforms to help make globalisation work for all, and are highlighted in our trends brochure and our book on Services Trade Policies and the Global Economy.


The cost of trading services is 2x as high as trading goods. OECD data indicates that the WTO's Joint Initiative on Domestic Services Regulation agreement could generate an annual trade cost savings of USD 150 billion for participants and WTO members.


The country notes are two-page summaries of the STRI results for each country. Each note features a chart that depicts the STRI indices for 22 services sectors together with the average and the lowest score of the 50 countries for each sector. The country notes also provide a brief description of the importance of services in trade, production and employment and the main characteristics of the services trade policy environment.


The STRI Explorer is an interactive web tool that allows users to investigate the STRI database and indices in a flexible manner. It enables users to compare the services trade restrictiveness of different countries, sectors, years, or policy areas, or to examine a specific case in more detail. The resulting downloadable graphs and tables can be used to analyse trends and patterns in services trade policy.


The STRI regulatory database lists all the regulations which may constitute barriers to trade in services or which could facilitate this trade. This very detailed qualitative database also provides the source of the regulation, along with the title of the law, relevant articles, a web link to the law, and a comment if additional explanations are required. This information is presented by default, without the source and comment variables.


The Intra-EEA STRI presents new data on regulatory barriers affecting services trade within the European Economic Area (EEA), covering 24 EEA countries, 22 sectors and seven years (2014-2021). Following the methodology of the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI), qualitative information is scored and weighted to produce binary composite indices. Read the paper on the Intra-EEA STRI database and then use our tools to access the raw data, simulate intra-EEA policy changes, or review our comprehensive online regulatory database.


The rapid acceleration of digital transformation has had profound implications for services trade but the benefits of digitalisation risk being derailed by existing and emerging trade barriers. The OECD Digital Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (Digital STRI) is a new tool that identifies, catalogues, and quantifies cross-cutting barriers that affect services traded digitally. It consists of two components, the regula