US Under Secretary of State Bonnie Denise Jenkins arrives in Singapore today as she concludes her Southeast Asian tour.
Jenkins will meet with Singaporean trade officials on the topics of strategic trade and export control in an effort to expand bilateral and economic cooperation. Separately, she will also attend the 2022 Singapore Export Control Summit to address the US-Singapore joint trade partnership.
Following the latest US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) negotiations in California, Jenkins’ visit will seek to reaffirm US vested interests in securing regional trade security for achieving its goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific. The IPEF has strategic and economic significance for Singapore to strengthen, diversify and secure its digital commerce amongst Southeast Asian countries vis-a-vis China.
Singapore has much to gain from advancing its ties with the United States. Being an export-driven economy with $28 billion in exports to the US, stronger trade ties can provide an avenue for reduced tariffs and subsidies for its exporters. However, if the US enters into a recession, Singapore would likely be the first South Asian economy to be affected. As such, Singaporean officials may work closely with the US on the IPEF Framework, to continue to hedge and diversify risk to their economy.
Simran Sharma is an Analyst and a second-year graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy concentrating on security studies and international negotiations. Prior to her degree at Fletcher, she worked in the international development space in India as a Gandhi Fellow with the Piramal Foundation. Her regional interests include the rise of China and the great power competition in South Asia with a focus on maritime issues in the Indian Ocean Region and South China Sea.