When it comes to the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework recently rolled out by the Biden Administration, the reaction across farm country has been mixed. Former Montana Senator Max Baucus, and current co-chair of Farmers for Free Trade, says this was a first step in establishing the U.S. as a leader in trade in an important part of the world.


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“There can be no region more important to America's economic future and, frankly, national security and global future than the Indo-Pacific region. It's very clear, and that's why I'm pleased to be part of this program because it's a message and I just want to keep pounding, the importance of that relationship. I'm glad President Biden is moving forward with the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. While this is new, this framework and much needs to be negotiated, the Biden administration, I think, should be commended for reasserting our leadership in the region.”

Baucus said while it’s a good start there’s a lot of work to be done.

“We must do much more and lean into this agreement much more, so it doesn't provide opportunities for more tariffs or expands market access as efficient in lots of areas. It's critical that at least we start, at least we begin because our economic future very much depends on moving ahead with IPEF.”

Baucus added it’s also important that the United States establish a “counterweight” to China in the region.

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