(Karlis Salna & David Tweed – Bloomberg)
The U.S.’s imminent exit from a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal has renewed urgency among nations huddled in Indonesia to hammer out a separate, China-backed pact.
The 16 nations seeking the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership accelerated their efforts during talks this week as rising protectionism threatens a system that has lifted hundreds of millions of Asians out of poverty. Negotiators said they neared agreement on protections and assistance related to small-and-medium-sized enterprises, and also made progress on competition policy.
Matters such as intellectual property rights, as well as trade in goods and services, remain unresolved. The next talks will be held in Japan in February. Click here to read more.