As per the economists, the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will galvanise momentum for the successful conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Asia Pacific Chief Economist for IHS Global Insight, Rajiv Biswas said that the US President’s signing of an executive order, confirming the country’s exit from the TPP, would accelerate a significant shift in the trade policy landscape in the Asia Pacific region.
In a statement today, Biswas said the US withdrawal would also help strengthen China’s economic leadership position in the Asia Pacific, in respect of the RCEP and Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). He said China was also undertaking its own regional economic initiatives, such as the One Belt One Road regional strategy as well as playing a major role in creating new development finance institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
China is likely to play a much stronger lead role in the future Asia Pacific trade architecture through a number of multilateral trade liberalisation initiatives, notably the RCEP and FTAAP, Biswas observed. He added that at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit held last November in Lima, Peru, two Latin American TPP member countries, Chile and Peru, also expressed interest in joining the RCEP negotiations.The RCEP is an Asia-Pacific trade liberalisation initiative led by China that includes the ten Asean members as well as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and India.