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The Editors

Biden’s Big Indo-Pacific Trade Deal Is a Baby Step

The administration should view the pact the way other countries do: as a bridge back to real free-trade agreements.

Many participants, few details.

Many participants, few details.

Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Biden administration officials certainly sound enamored with their new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. It’s a “rethink” of “what trade policy can be in the 21st century,” says US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, grandiosely.

It would be wiser to view the pact a bit more modestly: as a small step forward for an administration that has so far all but ignored free trade.