ASIA: RCEP trade pact is not a game changer for regional balance of power

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The new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact will cover one third of global GDP but is less ambitious on reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers than the Obama-era Trans-Pacific Partnership.Despite perceptions of RCEP as a "China-led" trade deal, the agreement's impact on the US-China power balance in Asia is modest.Even as Japan and Australia enter RCEP, they will pursue parallel efforts to strengthen economic and security relationships with the US and India under the "Quad" framework. A group of 15 East Asian countries are on track to sign a new regional trade agre
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