RCEP in the System of Mega-Regional Trade Agreements

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-2-23-32
V. Salamatov, VYSalamatov@itandi.ru
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, 82, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation;
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, 76, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation;
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 11, Pokrovsky Blvr., Moscow, 109028, Russian Federation.
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 11, Pokrovsky Blvr., Moscow, 109028, Russian Federation.
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, bld. 51, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation.

Received 28.05.2021.

Abstract. The article analyzes the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in terms of agreements reached and effects on the international trade system. Having involved the issues of tariff protection, rules of origin, TBT and SPS barriers in trade, investments, dispute settlement mechanism, and other regulation RCEP has an impact on both megaregionalism and international political economy system. In addition to the system level, the article examines the influence that this FTA will have on Russia and comparative market access conditions for Russian exporters in the RCEP countries. In comparison with other mega-regional trade arrangements such as TTP, RCEP provides for a more flexible approach to the commitments of the RCEP countries. Alongside the fact that each participating state has individual tariff elimination schedules with prolonged transition period for some products, such countries as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Philippines, and Korea set differentiated tariff elimination schedules for certain participating states. Overall, the significance of RCEP is based upon two levels. First, this allowed to form a FTA that is of key importance for Southeast and East Asia, especially China, Japan, and Korea, which may be the basis for deeper integration. Second, RCEP is a case for megaregionalism revival against economic nationalism that seemed to be on the rise. Importantly, RCEP has non-western countries at its core, which puts the entire Asia to the fore of trade liberalization process. As for Russia, it is essential to secure the potential export niches, products, and services so to go up the value chain as well as to be cautious about potential surge in imports that may happen.

Keywords: RCEP, WTO, mega-regional trade agreements, megaregionalism, international trade system, free trade area, FTA, China, ASEAN, Russia


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For citation:
Salamatov V., Tangaeva A., Kolomin V. RCEP in the System of Mega-Regional Trade Agreements. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 23-32. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-2-23-32

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