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RCEP conference opens in Kobe

  • February 28, 2017
  • , Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun
  • JMH Summary

All papers reported on the opening of a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting in Kobe yesterday, projecting that Japan and China are likely to engage in a tug of war over who will take the lead in the proposed mega trade liberalization initiative based on the assessment that the RCEP may set a standard for regional trade in view of the apparent derailment of the TPP. By seizing the initiative in the negotiations, the Chinese are hoping to postpone reforms on such issues as state-owned enterprises and tariff elimination. On the other hand, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are seeking “high quality” trade liberalization on a par with the TPP so as to help their domestic companies enjoy the benefits of free trade. Sankei conjectured that Japan is cautious about promoting RCEP talks ahead of the proposed start of the bilateral “economic dialogue” with the U.S. 


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