Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 December 2021
The chapter explains the evolution of the RCEP and argues that this mega-FTA serves as a milestone for new Asian regionalism. It discusses how the RCEP benefits the legal and political agendas of ASEAN and China and analyzes India’s decision to withdraw from RCEP negotiations in 2019. The chapter sheds light on the RCEP’s role in consolidating rules of origin, regulations services, as well as arguably weaker provisions on investment protection, government procurement and electronic commerce (e-commerce). A comparative analysis is based on contemporary agreements such as ASEAN Plus One FTAs and the CPTPP. Lastly, the chapter assesses the systemic impact of the RCEP on regional and global trading systems. Prospective normative conflicts due to overlapping agreements and the institutionalization of the RCEP Secretariat will be of significance to world trade law.