US Picks Negotiators for Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden’s administration has chosen the top staff negotiators to help lead talks on a long-awaited economic initiative for Asia that it plans to inaugurate during his trip to the region that begins Friday, according to people familiar with the plans.

Sharon Yuan, a veteran of the Treasury Department who worked on the abandoned Trans-Pacific Partnership, has been hired to oversee staff work on the main points of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF, according to the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss the arrangements.

The Commerce Department, which will play a key role in negotiations on the framework, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s staff efforts will be led by Dawn Shackleford, the assistant USTR for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, according to the people. Shackleford will work with Deputy USTR Sarah Bianchi, the Biden appointee who is running the agency’s effort, according to an official who also requested anonymity.