Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Status and Recent Developments [Updated November 19, 2020] [open pdf - 727KB]
From the Document: "The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a regional trade agreement between the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and five of their individual FTA [free trade agreement] partners--Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. After eight years of challenging talks, the agreement was signed on November 15, 2020, at the 4th RCEP Summit, hosted by Vietnam. Many viewed RCEP's signing as an achievement for the multilateral trading system, which faces myriad challenges, including a global economic slowdown and rising protectionism and trade disputes. It also follows the recent entry into force of 'mega-regional' trade deals, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP or TPP-11), which includes seven RCEP members [...]. Although RCEP is generally less comprehensive than other agreements, including TPP-11, its members constitute approximately 30% of global trade and GDP, giving it the potential to restructure some trade patterns and supply chains in Asia through lower trade costs and streamlined rules. As RCEP enters into force, Congress might consider how U.S. commercial interests could be affected by an agreement that allows firms from other developed economies to make supply chains more efficient, as well as the impact of the perceived diminishing U.S. role in shaping trade rules and economic integration in the region and globally."
CRS Insight, IN11200
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/