US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will visit Singapore today to strengthen economic ties in the region.
Raimondo will meet with major officials including the prime minister and trade and information ministers. Her visit follows President Biden’s virtual attendance of the East Asia Summit, where he advocated for a new economic framework in the Indo-Pacific region. Singapore shares significant trade ties with the US and China, making it a US priority as US-Chinese trade tensions persist.
Singapore’s location between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and its willingness to critique US-Chinese trade competition in the region, makes its partnership important to the US. Singapore’s neutrality allows it to balance relations between the Washington and Beijing. Following President Biden and President Xi’s summit yesterday, US-Chinese tensions may ease. The hesitation to present initiatives during this visit would avoid contributing to existing Chinese sentiment that the US economically overreaches and aligns with Singapore’s efforts of neutrality.
It seems Raimondo’s visit will not have accompanying initiatives. Singapore advocates for multilateral options in trade and policy and may seek that from the US before offering an agreement. However, expect some sort of framework between the two before the end of this year.
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Gabbi is the Recruitment and Outrech Coordinator at Foreign Brief. She also writes for the Daily Brief where her regional focus centers on Europe and the former USSR. Gabbi's specialization is in intelligence and international law.