On 15 November 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed between 10 countries in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) including China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Once completed, it will be the world’s largest trading bloc, making up 24% of global GDP with a combined value of $25.8tn. India dropped out of negotiations over demands for greater service access and concerns lower tariffs could hurt local producers. The agreement will come into force in November 2022.
How does RCEP compare with the other major Asian trade deal the CPTPP?
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a trade agreement between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, making up 13% of global GDP. It came into force at the end of 2020 and requires a greater degree of economic convergence.
The UK is looking to join the CPTPP this year. The US dropped out of the CPTPP in 2017 and there is speculation about whether Biden would wish to