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>RCEP: Asia-Pacific countries form world's largest trading bloc
>Fifteen countries have formed the world's largest trading bloc, covering nearly a third of the global economy. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The pact is seen as an extension of China's influence in the region.
>The deal excludes the US, which withdrew from a rival Asia-Pacific trade pact in 2017. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) shortly after taking office. The deal was to involve 12 countries and was supported by Mr Trump's predecessor Barack Obama as a way to counter China's surging power in the region. Negotiations over the RCEP began in 2012. The deal was signed on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), hosted by Vietnam.
>The RCEP is expected to eliminate a range of tariffs on imports within 20 years. It also includes provisions on intellectual property, telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce and professional services.
>But it's possible the new "rules of origin" - which officially define where a product comes from - will have the biggest impact. Already many member states have free trade agreements (FTA) with each other, but there are limitations. "The existing FTAs can be very complicated to use compared to RCEP," said Deborah Elms from the Asian Trade Centre. Businesses with global supply chains might face tariffs even within an FTA because their products contain components that are made elsewhere. A product made in Indonesia that contains Australian parts, for example, might face tariffs elsewhere in the Asean free trade zone. Under RCEP, parts from any member nation would be treated equally, which might give companies in RCEP countries an incentive to look within the trade region for suppliers.
Well that's going to complicate the CPTPP.