Leaders of China and 14 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region have signed the largest free trade agreement in history, covering 2.2 billion people and 30 percent of the world’s economic output.
A video link was signed on Sunday after eight years of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RSEP).
Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea signed the agreement with members of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
The agreement sets new terms for trade in goods and services, cross-border investment and increasingly important areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property. Analysts say the impact on manufactured goods trade between Asian countries will be particularly significant.
In a joint statement, the leaders said the trade agreement would form an important part of their plans to eradicate the epidemic, which has forced countries around the world to shut down their economies.
The leaders’ statement said the agreement would help us in economic recovery, inclusive growth, job creation and strengthening regional supply chains, as well as open, comprehensive, rule-based trade and investment management. Proof of strong commitment.
The combined GDP of the signatories was 26.2tn (t 20tn) in 2019, or about 30% of global GDP. The deal will account for about 28% of world trade.
Had it not withdrawn from the talks with India last year, it would have covered an additional 1.4 billion people because of these concerns it could not protect the domestic industry as well as its agricultural sector.
However, the signatories’ statement left the door open for India to join the trade bloc, saying it would be “welcome”.
Although neither the EU nor the US-Mexico-Canada agreement offers level integration, the agreement was seen as an important step in removing trade barriers as well as increasing China’s influence. Is.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called the deal a “victory for multilateralism and free trade,” according to the agreement. Reports By the official Xinhua news agency on Sunday.
The agreement will “open new doors for Australian farmers, businesses and investors”, said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Over the past decade, trade and investment flows within Asia have expanded significantly, accelerating the war between the United States and China, with the two superpowers spending billions on each other’s exports. The dollar has imposed consolidated tariffs.
The RCEP agreement is as complex as it is to meet the different needs of member countries, as different as Australia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.
The CPTP – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership – and unlike the EU, it does not set common standards for labor and the environment or obliges countries to open up services to their economies and other vulnerable areas. Does not
The agreement was signed shortly after Biden won the US presidential election. Biden is expected to adjust US foreign policy to make the most of global affairs.
Donald Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017, a deal that was first conceived to curb China’s influence.
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