News Article

What happened to the TPP and what is the RCEP?

When it comes with broad trade agreements around the globe, U.S. President Donald Trump is not the only pessimist. Two years after Trump removed the U.S. from a 12-nation pact named TPP, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his country out of China’s 16-nation alliance known as the RCEP. Protectionism has played a part in both situations; the show continues in both cases.


What emerged in 2012 as a regular harmonization of treaties between representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) developed into an arrangement that could create the world’s largest free trade group. To give it its full name, the Asian Comprehensive Economic Partnership seeks to improve trade ties with ASEAN countries and China and others. Broadly speaking, tariffs and other barriers to trade in commodities would be reduced among the 16 countries in ASEAN, or with existing trade agreements.

Why is it now 15 nations?

In November, India dropped out claiming it wants to protect company workers and farmers. There were also concerns that China would flood the country with cheap goods. Modi also encouraged other nations to tackle deficit issues and open up Indian infrastructure and resources to their markets.

Is India’s leaving a problem?

It would have been RCEP’s third-largest economy so absolutely. On the other hand, China has sought to quickly tie up the deal as the country faces slower growth from a trade war with the U.S. As the Trump administration pressures Asian nations to reject Chinese infrastructure loans and 5G technology, it also seeks to further integrate with regional economies. China says India is welcome when it’s ready to come back on board.

How is RCEP different?

The RCEP would not force its members to take measures to liberalize their markets, safeguard labor rights and environmental standards, or preserve intellectual property, unlike the TPP and other U.S.-led trade deals. According to the United States. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, this is a “very low-grade agreement” without the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) scope.

What’s happened to the TPP?

It has become the CPTPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty. It’s already in place of seven of the 11 signatories signed in March 2018. They wanted to press on after Trump signed an executive order in 2017, removing the U.S. shortly after coming to power, saying he wanted fairer contracts.

Is RCEP close to being finalised?

Since 2012, there have been more than a dozen rounds of discussions. The remaining 15 countries have stated that they are now planning to sign the agreement next year.

What countries in which?

Seven nations— Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam — have been active in both contract talks. The United States, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and Peru are TPP-only delegates, while Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand are RCEP-only countries other than China. The U.S. was not intentionally excluded from the RCEP. To join, a free trade agreement with ASEAN would first have to be reached, then apply to join.

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