Morrison Govt welcomes 'world's largest free trade agreement'

Morrison Govt welcomes 'world's largest free trade agreement'”

Signatories to the agreement said they hoped New Delhi would rejoin in the future, acknowledging its "strategic importance" to the deal which already covers more than two billion people. The focus is on not just free but also fair trade, he added.

The previous US administration had wanted to join a previous version of CPTPP, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but US President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement after taking power in 2017.

Without India, the RCEP trade bloc still stands as the world's largest free-trade bloc with a combined GDP of over 26 trillion and almost one-third of the world's population.

She said it may also concentrate minds in Washington and Brussels, as American and European businesses risk missing out on the benefits that firms operating in RCEP countries will enjoy, such as "lower or eliminated tariffs, more access for services, improved access and protection for investments".

According to Lopez, the signing of RCEP also provides a specific chapter in the agreement dedicated to the institutionalization of support and cooperation geared towards inclusive growth that will benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.

In a similar development, the Trade department said the final conclusion and signing of the RCEP Agreement in this time of pandemic and global uncertainties will signal a renewed vow in a rules-based system for trade and investment. "Our estimates suggests that India in the RCEP would have a big boost in its service sector and to some degree in its advance manufacturers but it would have the industries would take a hit but not a large hit", Plummer said. At another level, it can be argued that RCEP hasn't stopped China from slapping tariffs on, or raising other barriers to, Australian products from barley to coal.

Asked at a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware, whether the United States would join the Asian-focused 15-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, Biden said he could not yet discuss U.S. trade policy because he had not taken office "and there's only one president at a time".

It also marks the first multilateral trade deal for China, the first bilateral tariff reduction arrangement between Japan and China, and the first time China, Japan and South Korea have been in a single free-trade agreement.

It includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

More news: China Condemns Historic Australia-Japan Defense Pact

Still, he highlighted the importance of finding USA allies in trade.

Taiwan hopes eventually to sign a free trade deal with the USA, its main arms seller and most important worldwide backer. But they have yet to remove major stumbling blocks such as market access.

Biden reiterated his criticism of Trump's America-first policy.

"Although the road ahead promises to be bumpy, the RCEP has further unified the region in the pursuit of common economic growth".

"We make up 25%. of the economy in the world", Biden said of the United States.

The RCEP signing has raised questions about whether it would prompt the United States, under a President Joe Biden, to return to an global trade agreement like the CPTPP instead of remaining isolated.

The alternative, he said, was to have "China and others dictate outcomes because they are the only game in town".

It's tough to gauge the immediate economic significance of the deal.

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