China is already an important trading partner for most Asian economies and its influence will grow below rcep. The agreement has powerful symbolic effects, showing that nearly four years after Trump launched his “America First” policy of trade agreements with individual countries, Asia remains committed to multinational nations` efforts to secure freer trade, seen as a formula for future prosperity. “Ratification is likely to be difficult in national parliaments, both because of anti-commercial and anti-Chinese sentiment,” he added. “The U.S. has even less influence to pressure China to change its trade and economic practices to bring them more in line with U.S. labor, environmental, intellectual property protection and other free trade standards,” said Cornells Prasad. Finally, rcep and the CPTPP are powerful counter-examples of the decline in rules-based trade around the world. If rcep stimulates mutually beneficial growth, its members, including China, will gain influence around the world. In the longer term, Li called the agreement a “victory for multilateralism and free trade.” Southeast Asia will benefit greatly from RCEP ($19 billion per year by 2030), but less than North-East Asia, as it already has free trade agreements with RCEP partners. But the RCEP could improve access to funds from china`s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and improve the benefits of market access by strengthening transport, energy and communication links. RCEP`s favourable rules of origin will also attract foreign investment. “The signing of the RCEP is not only a pioneering achievement of East Asian regional cooperation, but also a victory for multilateralism and free trade,” Li said.
The agreement excludes the United States, which withdrew from an Asia-Pacific trade pact in 2017. India was originally also required to register. But fearing a flood of cheap imports, it withdrew from the negotiations at the end of 2019. This has raised concerns among some parties to the agreement that China, the world`s second largest economy, would have undue influence. Critics of free trade agreements say they tend to encourage companies to relocate manufacturing jobs abroad. After winning disgruntled rust belt voters in the November 3 elections in Michigan and western Pennsylvania, Biden “will not waste it by returning to tPP,” Michael Jonathan Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said at a web-based seminar.