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RCEP has to be more inclusive than TPP

By Amitendu Palit ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-11-24 08:12:10

Although US President Barack Obama has urged other Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement member countries to continue working to advance the agreement, the outlook for the TPP is uncertain. US president-elect Donald Trump struck an anti-TPP posture during his election campaign, and has said the United States will withdraw from the trade deal on his first day in the White House.

For the rest of the TPP member countries the bleak prospects for the trade deal are a great disappointment. While they are expected to continue efforts to persuade the Trump administration to look positively at the TPP, they do not appear hopeful at this point in time. The assumption among these members appears to be that the US would not commit to the TPP at least for the time being. This is forcing the non-US TPP members to consider the possibility of having a TPP without the US.

A trans-Pacific trade deal without the US is a theoretical possibility, which would increase if the US voluntarily withdraws from the TPP. At present, the TPP agreement requires ratification by at least six of its members accounting for a minimum of 85 percent of the GDP of the group. This makes it impossible for the TPP to become functional without its ratification by the US and Japan - the two largest economies in the group. If the US withdraws from the TPP, then Japan and the rest of the members can ratify and implement it.

RCEP has to be more inclusive than TPP

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