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Chile, Peru to join China-led trade partnership
November 21, 2016, 9:40 am

"We encourage that all regional undertakings, including TPP and RCEP, remain open, transparent and inclusive and draw on each other," APEC said in its final communique [Xinhua]

“We encourage that all regional undertakings, including TPP and RCEP, remain open, transparent and inclusive and draw on each other,” APEC said in its final communique [Xinhua]


China appears to be making headway at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru as more countries fear the demise of Washington’s trade initiative and seek to sign on to Beijing’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Late on Sunday, Chinese officials said that Peru and Chile had signaled interest in joining the RCEP.

The flight from President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes as the gathering of 21 leaders appears to been overshadowed by one man who isn’t even attending the proceedings.

Statements by President-elect Donald Trump about reversing US free trade commitments and policies have unnerved many global leaders who feel decades of negotiations are about to be undone.

Trump had also strongly criticized the TPP initiative and called it a bad deal for America. Australia, Brunei, Vietnam, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Chile and Japan who had agreed to the TPP are now wondering what kind of trade relationship will exist with the US.

Trump has said he would pull out of the US-led TPP and that has left America’s allies considering whether to forge ahead with the initiative without it.

China rising

None of the BRICS countries are included in the US-led TPP pact

On Saturday, during APEC’s opening speeches, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the Asia-Pacific region is “grappling with such challenges as the fragmentation of regional economic cooperation”.

China has proposed the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) in addition to the RCEP as possible substitutes particularly now that support – and enthusiasm – for the TPP appears to be waning.

To that effect, a final APEC communique confirmed that both the TPP and RCEP were both valid initiatives to a broader Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

“We encourage that all regional undertakings, including TPP and RCEP, remain open, transparent and inclusive and draw on each other,” they said.

“We reaffirm our commitment to keep our markets open and to fight against all forms of protectionism,” they added.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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