World’s largest trade deal may be signed in 2020
The mega-deal involves all ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nation) countries and their five key trading partners, namely Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. These 15 countries account for about the one-third of the world population and global gross domestic product, reports showed.
India was initially a participant in the trade bloc before expressing unwillingness, saying that its domestic market would materially get hurt by the deal.
The planned deal aims to lift barriers among the aforementioned countries and broaden market access by lowering tariffs and standardizing customs procedures, in particular for countries that do not have any existing deals in place.
Negotiations for the RCEP kicked off in 2013 during another talk for a major trade deal called Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, pioneered by the US. Then, the US President decided to withdraw from the pact in 2017. The US also remains out of the mega-deal that could connect several countries in many ways.
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