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From a geopolitical point of view, this is the second major multilateral trade agreement in Asia-Pacific, marked by the absence of the United States after its withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (now CPTPP) in January 2017. Regional experts described the RCEP agreement as another example of China`s growing economic and trade influence in Southeast Asia, amid a perceived U.S. withdrawal. Businesses operating in the region can therefore find a business landscape that is slowly adapting more to RCEP`s provisions. APTA preferences may overlap with separate DFQF systems from China, India and the Republic of Korea, as well as preferences under the SAFTA, ASEAN-China, ASEAN-India and ASEAN-Republic of Korea regional trade agreements. Read more: The Real Winners of the U.S.-China Trade Dispute Chinese President Xi is opening up to other trade agreements and imports from the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) is a preferred regional trade agreement, formerly known as the Bangkok Agreement. The AptA aims to promote the economic development of its members by adopting mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures that contribute to regional trade expansion and economic cooperation. Over time, it has focused, from the first negotiations on tariff concessions in trade in goods, to the current negotiations on investment liberalization, trade in services and trade facilitation. It is also constantly working to improve and modernize its rules of origin for the trade in goods.

In the digital field, the RCEP is remarkable because it is one of the first times that China has accepted global standards for e-commerce and data flows (although practical effects may be limited by exceptions to public policies so important that they can swallow the rule, in this case). More generally, the agreement does not focus on the e-commerce and digital commerce framework, despite their growing importance, accelerated by COVID-19. Southeast Asian heads of state and government met in Bangkok for a three-day, trade-dominated summit. ASEAN members are working to finalize a China-backed plan for the creation of the world`s largest free trade area. The new free trade bloc will be larger than the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada and the European Union. However, it sets rules for trade that facilitate investment and other business in the area, said Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Center. ASEAN leaders said they intend to continue expanding trade with India and that the door remains open in New Delhi to join the bloc. In the longer term, Li called the agreement a “victory for multilateralism and free trade.” Market access rules and common rules of origin will, for example, reduce costs for producers who manufacture goods in one RCEP country for export to another Member State. This includes, of course, duty-free or reduced-price treatment within the regional bloc for many of those produced in China and ASEAN. In particular, while most RCEP members already have existing trade agreements, RCEP will for the first time be that China and Japan, as well as Japan and South Korea, will be bound by trade agreements.