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Looking for a deal: post-TPP trade

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Looking for a deal: post-TPP trade

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Former Trans-Pacific Partnership countries, together with China and South Korea, will meet in Chile on Tuesday to push free trade plans forward beyond the now-defunct deal.

While the US withdrew from the agreement in January, the remaining 11 countries have expressed strong interest in proceeding with another manifestation of an Asia-Pacific trade deal.

Countries are likely to flirt with the idea of joining or expanding the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is currently being negotiated with the ten ASEAN countries, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

However, concerns have repeatedly been raised about the lack of labour, environmental and intellectual property protections in RCEP. Australia, New Zealand and Canada have indicated interest in negotiating as a bloc, which could see more developments on these fronts. The Sino-centric Asia-Pacific economic order is beginning to take shape.

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