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AlwaysFree: Japan Seeks To Expand CPTPP As Countries Eye Membership


Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday said that Japan is seeking to expand the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade pact, a move that could potentially cater some countries’ interest in joining the deal. Currently, CPTPP has 11 members, including Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Previously, Japan also signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and ten Southeast Asian countries. RCEP is the biggest free trade deal in the world, covering about a third of global GDP and population. The talks over RCEP initially involved India, but New Delhi withdrew last year over concerns on its widening trade deficit.

Last week, a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said Beijing was open to the idea of joining the CPTPP. This statement came after Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator said the island country had made “relatively” good progress in joining the CPTPP and was waiting for clearer rules on membership.

Earlier this year, the UK announced its intent to apply for membership in the CPTPP. In 2016, the US under Obama’s administration signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, but President Donald Trump withdrew the country from the pact as soon as he took office. Some analysts expect Washington to rejoin the deal under Biden’s presidency.

Tags: All Products,AlwaysFree,Asia Pacific,English,Japan,NEA

November 23, 2020 5:19 PM (GMT+8)