Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries signed an agreement on Sunday morning central European time to create the world’s largest free-trade bloc. The United States, which withdrew from the TPP treaty nearly four years ago, has remained out of it now.
On Sunday morning Central European time, representatives of 15 Asia-Pacific countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The agreement is based on the asean (Association of Southeast Asian Countries) association, which has ten member countries. They were joined by five others: China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
This created the world’s largest trading bloc, which covers about a third of the world’s economy. It aims to reduce tariff barriers for virtually all types of goods and services. According to analysts, this means, among other things, a further strengthening of the global economic centre of gravity, which seems to have finally relocated to Asia. All the more so because the United States has not joined the agreement, which even withdrew from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement after Donald Trump took office in 2017. To some extent, the US has paid for the trade war with China that President Trump unleashed years ago.