trade negotiations

RCEP’s Under-the-Radar Round 15

The yogurt maker—just to pick on one product that happens to be sitting near the computer today—might not have been bothered about an existing bilateral.  But the same yogurt marker may care deeply about the prospects of yogurt trade in and across RCEP.  Or about the potential for trade in ingredients in the region.  The point is—unless someone asks—no one will know what the yogurt maker or any other company wants or needs or does not want or need from RCEP.  Officials might be going 15 rounds together with one another on a point that is utterly irrelevant to companies while ignoring the real issues of concern.