The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has published Article Three’s submission on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP), which is currently being considered by the Committee.
Our key take on the agreement is as follows:
RCEP will benefit Australia by helping to strengthen regional value chains, encourage trade diversification, build stronger relationships with trading partners and provide a baseline to improve trading conditions across the region.
Australia already has FTAs with all RCEP members that have reduced many tariff barriers on goods. However, there is still more to be done to reduce non-tariff measures and barriers to services and investment.
RCEP commits Australia’s trading partners in ASEAN and North Asia to improvements in these areas and promises to play a broader role in supporting growth through trade. This is particularly important in the current trade environment.
Australia should proceed to ratify the agreement and encourage other members to do so such that it can enter into force in 2022.
Read the full submission here.