Trade representatives from the RCEP member countries meet in July, 2018 in Tokyo

Between two trade agreements, Asia-Pacific seeks balance

  • Two regional trade agreements are bringing different kinds of benefits to the Indo-Pacific
  • The CPTPP replaces the aborted TPP following the withdrawal of the US, liberalizing trade in a host of areas
  • The RCEP is a more modest agreement, but by virtue of China’s involvement, represents 30 percent of the global economy
  • Several countries in the region are pursuing both deals, recognizing their distinct opportunities

On December 30, 2018, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) went into effect. Led by Japan and comprising seven economies, with four more left to ratify it, the CPTPP is what remains of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the withdrawal of the United States. Meanwhile, several of the CPTPP member countries – including Japan, Australia, Singapore and Vietnam – are also part of a second, broader arrangement, the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Beyond the clear economic benefits of these agreements, what their common members and aspirants hope to achieve is a balance of influence in the region.

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 Walter Lohman
A U.S.-China agreement is likely, but tensions over trade will persist over the long term
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • Two regional trade agreements are bringing different kinds of benefits to the Indo-Pacific
  • The CPTPP replaces the aborted TPP following the withdrawal of the US, liberalizing trade in a host of areas
  • The RCEP is a more modest agreement, but by virtue of China’s involvement, represents 30 percent of the global economy
  • Several countries in the region are pursuing both deals, recognizing their distinct opportunities
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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