Talks are picking up on the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which is being pushed by China as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Talks began to pick up steam this past week as President-elect Donald Trump said again that he’ll withdraw the country from TPP on his first day in office. Negotiators are meeting in Indonesia and have come to agreements on several specifics within the deal, some of which include protections, small enterprise assistance, and competition policy. Some details that still aren’t resolved include intellectual property rights and trade in goods and services. Japan is expected to hold the next round of discussions in February. The RCEP agreement could potentially create the biggest free-trade block in the world. It would cover half the world’s population and 30 percent of the global economy. However, for some countries the TPP isn’t dead yet. Japan approved the deal last week and Australia is still moving ahead to ratify the agreement. Vietnam is also showing interest in proceeding.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.