Asia-Pacific Mega Trade Deals (RCEP, CPTPP): Which role for the US, and what are the implications for the EU? by Françoise Nicolas in Alica Kizekova (ed.) The Indo-Pacific in the post-Trump era: Expectations and Challenges, IIR, Prag, 2021.
While it has long been reluctant to engage in institution-based regional economic integration, East Asia is now home to two mega trade deals: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Interestingly, the United States, although traditionally a key player in the region, is not party to either of these arrangements. Given their weight and importance, these two agreements can leave neither EU governments nor European companies indifferent. While the latter can make the best of these agreements by enhancing their presence in the region, the former should take the necessary steps to avoid being side-lined in the definition of the rules of the game in East Asia. To that end, joining the CPTPP may be the most appropriate move. Incidentally, such a move may also induce the US to come back into the game as well.
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