NHK World | 25 June 2018
RCEP negotiations to start in Tokyo
Trade officials from 16 Asia-Pacific countries are gathering in Tokyo to discuss the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP.
Countries attending include Japan, China, India and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The officials are expected to discuss 16 categories including tariff reductions as well as rules on intellectual property, and E-commerce.
Japan and Australia want higher levels of tariff reductions and liberalization of intellectual property protection, while China and India remain cautious.
The working-level meeting will last until Friday and a RCEP ministerial meeting is expected to begin on July 1st also in Tokyo.
Trade conflict has escalated between the US and China plus other countries, following a series of protectionist policies taken by the Trump administration.
Attention is now focused on how successful the RCEP members will be on pushing for free trade.