Pacific Trade Agreements

The Pacific Trade Agreements: A Comprehensive Guide

The Pacific trade agreements are a series of trade deals and agreements that have been established between various countries in the Pacific Rim region. These agreements are designed to promote trade and economic cooperation between member countries, as well as to increase market access and improve economic growth.

There are several key agreements that make up the Pacific trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Let`s take a closer look at each of these agreements.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The TPP was negotiated between twelve countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The agreement aimed to create a free trade zone among these countries, reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade.

However, the United States withdrew from the agreement in January 2017, which meant that the TPP could not come into effect. Despite this setback, the remaining countries continued negotiations and ultimately signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

The CPTPP is a revised version of the TPP, signed in March 2018 by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The agreement entered into force in December 2018.

The CPTPP includes many of the provisions of the TPP, but with some changes. For example, the agreement no longer includes some of the contentious intellectual property provisions that were included in the TPP. The CPTPP also contains provisions on labor rights, environmental protection, and state-owned enterprises.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

The RCEP is a trade agreement that is currently being negotiated between sixteen countries: the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

The RCEP is expected to be one of the largest free trade agreements in the world, covering a population of around 3.4 billion people. The agreement aims to reduce tariffs and promote trade liberalization between member countries. Negotiations have been ongoing since 2012, and the agreement is expected to be signed in late 2020.


The Pacific trade agreements are an important part of the global trading system, with countries in the region coming together to reduce barriers to trade and increase economic cooperation. The TPP, CPTPP, and RCEP represent important steps towards greater trade liberalization and economic growth in the Pacific Rim region. As negotiations continue and the agreements come into effect, there will likely be significant changes in the way that companies do business and in the broader economic landscape of the region.