The conflict escalated into a trade dispute that affected a dozen Australian industries and threatened billions of dollars worth of exports of agricultural products, wood and resources to China. “It is essential that partners like China, when they enter into new agreements like this, not only provide the details of such agreements, but act faithfully to their minds,” Birmingham told The Age newspaper. The pact reduces tariffs, opens up the services sector and establishes common rules on trade within the bloc. The agreement covers trade, services, investment, e-commerce, telecommunications and copyright. The agreement has powerful symbolic effects, showing that nearly four years after Trump launched his “America First” policy of trade agreements with individual countries, Asia remains committed to multinational nations` efforts to secure freer trade, seen as a formula for future prosperity. Changes to the free trade area framework mainly concerned Vietnam. These amendments were intended to help Vietnam reduce tariffs and were cited as guidelines.  The RCEP agreement is flexible enough to meet the needs of different member countries as diverse as Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia. Unlike the CPTPP and the EU, it does not create uniform standards for work and the environment or obliges countries to open services and other vulnerable areas of their economies. Now that Trump`s opponent, Joe Biden, has been declared president-elect, the region is watching developments in U.S.
trade policy and other issues. The agreement is also a blow to China, by far the largest market in the region, with more than 1.3 billion people, allowing Beijing to position itself as a “champion of globalization and multilateral cooperation” and give it greater influence over regional trade rules, said Gareth Leather, Asia`s chief capital economic economist. , in a report. This ACFTA will create an economic region of 1.7 billion consumers, a regional gross domestic product (GDP) of about $2 trillion and an estimated total trade of $1.23 trillion. It is therefore the largest free trade agreement in the world relative to the size of the population. In July 2005, a commodity trade development programme came into effect. Negotiations on a dispute resolution mechanism were concluded in 2004, with a view to their implementation in 2005. Negotiations on trade in services have been concluded and an agreement was signed in January 2007 and is expected to be implemented in July 2007. The china-ASEAN investment agreement was to be signed at the ASEAN summit in Thailand in December 2008. On the eve of Sunday`s extraordinary RCEP summit, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said he would strongly support his government for “the expansion of a free and fair economic zone, including the possibility of India`s future return to the agreement, and that he hoped to win the support of other countries.” Southeast Asian heads of state and government met in Bangkok for a three-day, trade-dominated summit. ASEAN members are working to finalize a China-backed plan for the creation of the world`s largest free trade area. In addition, Joe Biden is hardly the free distributor that Asia hopes: “The conclusion of the rcep negotiations, the world`s largest free trade agreement, will send a strong message that will confirm ASEAN`s leading role in supporting the multilateral trading system, creating a new trade structure in the region, facilitating sustainable trade, reviving supply chains disrupted by COVID-19 and supporting the recovery of the pandemic.” Phuc said.
The framework agreement was signed by eleven heads of government on 4 November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. : Hassanal Bolkiah (Sultan of Brunei Darussalam), Hun Sen (Prime Minister of Cambodia), Megawati Soekarnoputri (President of Indonesia), Bounnhang Vorachith (Prime Minister of Laos), Mahathir bin Mohamad (Prime Minister of Malaysia), Than Sh (Prime Minister of Burma), Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President of