RCEP negotiations to continue into 2018

November 17, 2017: After five years and 20 rounds of negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will continue into 2018. This means that they have missed a deadline for the third time. The Leaders' statement lists 18 chapters for continued talks.

Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita has asked negotiating countries to be ‘more realistic and flexible’ about their standards. He also has referred to the RCEP as ‘the only game in town’, an apparent reference to the uncertain future of the TPP-11.  Other reports say the new target  for completion is November 2018.

One ASEAN source has told Vietnam News that major differences among member countries include China and India’s disagreements on tariff reductions. Other major disagreements have been over medicine monopolies, investor rights to sue governments, electronic commerce, trade in services and government procurement.