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Jakarta Post

RCEP: More relevant now than ever

Jakarta   /   Mon, February 20, 2017   /  08:49 am
RCEP: More relevant now than ever NOT FOR US: Protesters under the umbrella of the Indonesian People Coalition for Economic Justice rally in front of Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday. They profoundly reject the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation because the clauses, they say, will pave the way for global investors to dominate the economy and harm state interests as well as public welfare. (JP/Bimo Raharjo)

When United States President Donald Trump called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a “disaster” and vowed to pull out of the agreement as soon as he took office, international media almost instantaneously pronounced the TPP dead. And in the next breath, they shifted their focus to the less controversial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), calling it “China-led” and pitching it as the alternative to the TPP. The impression was that as one was US-led and the other China-led, they must have been competing agreements. Not so. ASEAN member states involved in the negotiations of both the TPP and RCEP were very mindful that these agreements were complementary, albeit at different levels of scope and ambition. What was more important was that both agreements would ultimately contribute to deeper economic integration of Asia-Pacific, which...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.