Senate unlikely to approve RCEP

 Senate unlikely to approve RCEP

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement between 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The agreement aims to reduce tariffs, increase investment, and promote economic cooperation among member countries. However, despite the potential benefits, the RCEP faces significant opposition in the United States Senate, making it unlikely to be approved.

One of the main reasons for the Senate’s reluctance to approve the RCEP is the ongoing trade war between the US and China. The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with its own tariffs on US products. The RCEP includes China, which makes it a non-starter for many US lawmakers who view China as a strategic rival and economic threat.

Another issue is the lack of labor and environmental protections in the RCEP. Critics argue that the agreement would lead to a race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions, as well as environmental degradation. The Senate has historically been skeptical of free trade agreements that do not include strong labor and environmental standards, and the RCEP falls short in this regard.

Furthermore, the RCEP has been criticized for its lack of transparency and public input. The negotiations have been conducted behind closed doors, with little information available to the public. This has raised concerns about the potential impact of the agreement on various sectors of the economy, as well as on consumers and workers.

Given these concerns, it is unlikely that the Senate will approve the RCEP anytime soon. While some lawmakers may be open to the idea of free trade with Asia-Pacific countries, they are unlikely to support an agreement that includes China and lacks strong labor and environmental protections. Until these issues are addressed, the RCEP will remain a contentious issue in US trade policy.