RCEP and the Future of Asian Free Trade Agreements: A Philippine Perspective
Katigbak, Jovito Jose P. | January 2017
In December 2016, Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez expressed the country’s decision to put its full weight behind the Asian trade pact Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after President Rodrigo R. Duterte criticized the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement by highlighting the restrictive nature of its provision on intellectual property rights covering pharmaceuticals. The decision to back RCEP can also be viewed as a vital component of the Duterte administration’s foreign policy objective which mainly focuses on realizing economic integration in Asia. More importantly, the Philippine government’s willingness to enter into large trade deals like the RCEP with advanced Asian economies outlines two key insights on how it perceives the trajectory of free trade agreements (FTAs) in the region. Firstly, FTAs will expand to cover non-trade aspects of economic cooperation. Secondly, China will play a very critical role in determining the direction of Asian FTAs but fair treatment must be afforded to all member economies.
CitationKatigbak, Jovito Jose P.. 2017. RCEP and the Future of Asian Free Trade Agreements: A Philippine Perspective. © Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/6936.
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