RCEP: 15 Asia-Pacific countries sign world's largest trade deal

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China has signed the world's largest trade deal, one that excludes the U.S., with 14 other economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, is made up of China, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The agreement was signed by the 15 countries via video conference on Nov. 15.

Members of the new free trade bloc cover a market of 2.2 billion people and $26.2 trillion of global output, or nearly a third of the world's population and 29 percent of global gross domestic product, according to reports by CNBC and BBC News.

The RCEP is seen as an economic and diplomatic coup for China. The U.S. pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership — a proposed trade agreement that included several Asia-Pacific countries but which excluded China — when Donald Trump became president in 2017.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Member nations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
2. Trade bloc covers roughly one third of the world's population and GDP
3. RCEP is larger than the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the EU
4. U.S. pulled out of Trans Pacific Partnership in 2017
5. RCEP includes countries such as Japan and Australia that have security ties with Washington and frayed relations with Beijing

VOICEOVER (in English):

"China has signed the world's largest trade deal, one that excludes the U.S., with 14 other economies in the Asia-Pacific region."

"The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, is made up of China, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. India was given the chance to join but opted out in 2019."

"Members of the new free trade bloc cover a market of 2.2 billion people and $26.2 trillion of global output, that's nearly a third of the world's population and 29 percent of global gross domestic product."

"That makes RCEP larger than the economies of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union."

"The RCEP is seen as an economic and diplomatic victory for China."

"The Trans Pacific Partnership, a proposed trade agreement that included the U.S. and several Asia-Pacific countries but which excluded China, was negotiated by the Obama administration. When Donald Trump became president in 2017, he withdrew the U.S. from the trade pact."

"The RCEP also includes countries that have security relationships with Washington and strained relations with Beijing, notably Japan and Australia."

SOURCES: ASEAN, BBC News, CNBC
https://asean.org/summary-regional-comprehensive-economic-partnership-agreement/
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/16/rcep-15-asia-pacific-countries-including-china-sign-worlds-largest-trade-deal.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-54949260