Power Play

RCEP signing a wake-up call for the US

America’s absence from mega Asian trade agreements undermines its own security arrangements

Representatives of the signatory countries are seen during the signing ceremony for the RCEP, during the Asean Summit on Nov 15, 2020.
Representatives of the signatory countries are seen during the signing ceremony for the RCEP, during the Asean Summit on Nov 15, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

On his first day in office, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was eventually renegotiated among the 11 remaining parties and signed in early 2018.

And, in the last days of his presidency, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed, pulling 15 nations - including China - together into one trade agreement.

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