White House: No plan to expand Quad membership as of now


There is no plan to add new members to the Quad now, the White House has said, emphasising that the relatively young grouping welcomes opportunities to work with a wide range of Indo-Pacific partner countries on issues like maritime security, infrastructure and climate change.
The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and US President Joe Biden – are scheduled to meet in Sydney, Australia for the third in-person summit on May 24, amidst China’s aggressive behaviour in the strategically important region.
“The Quad was established two years ago. The Quad is still a relatively young partnership. There are no plans for new members at this time,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday at her daily news conference.
Quad members, she said, have agreed that for now, they’ll focus on cementing the quad’s many strengths.
“However, the Quad welcomes opportunities to work with a wide range of Indo-Pacific partners, such as through its Indo-Pacific partners on maritime domain awareness, which is delivering cutting edge maritime domain awareness technology around the region,” she said in response to a question.
“The May 24th Sydney Summit will showcase other opportunities for the Quad to partner around the region on climate, global health, infrastructure, and more. The Quad’s top priority is ensuring it is well-positioned to deliver for the Indo-Pacific. And so, there’s no conversation on extending or expanding at this time,” Jean-Pierre said.
In May last year, the Quad leaders met in Tokyo for the 2nd in-person summit.
During that summit, President Biden launched the ambitious Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), which is an initiative aimed at deeper cooperation among like-minded countries in areas such as clean energy, supply-chain resilience and digital trade.
The rollout of the IPEF is expected to send a signal that the US is focused on pushing forward a strong economic policy for the region to counter China’s aggressive strategy on trade in the region.