The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement involving major countries across the Asia Pacific region. The trade pact, which entered into force on 30 December 2018, is considered by many to be the 'gold standard', given its ambitious scope and depth. This volume offers multi-dimensional insights into the CPTPP and its impact on Southeast Asia. It begins with broad analyses covering the historical, economic and geopolitical aspects of the CPTPP. Subsequent chapters focus on the nature and implications of three key path-breaking provisions in the trade agreement, namely investor-state dispute settlement, intellectual property rights and state-owned enterprises. The effect of the CPTPP on Southeast Asia in terms of regional production networks is also examined from the perspective of Japanese multinational enterprises. The potential economic impact of the agreement is analysed for member countries (Vietnam and Malaysia) as well as countries that aspire to join the CPTPP in the future (Indonesia and Thailand). The world trading system is in disarray: the World Trade Organization has been weakened, perhaps terminally; the world's two economic superpowers are locked in deep, politicized disputes; the forces of populism and nationalism are everywhere complicating the return to a more liberal, rules-based order. These trends are challenging one of the building blocks of ASEAN economic development, namely these countries' outward-looking trade and investment policies. With impeccable timing this important volume by a group of eminent authors assesses these issues with reference to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The CPTPP excludes the three largest traders—China, the EU and the US—but it is a welcome second-best initiative that may have broader, positive ripple effects.
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