The signing cemented the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as the largest trading bloc globally, covering a market of 2.2 billion people and $26.2 trillion of global output. That accounts for about 30% of the population worldwide, as well as the global economy. It is also larger than what’s covered under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the European Union. Analysts said economic benefits of RCEP are modest and would take years to materialize. But the deal is a geopolitical victory for China at a time when the U.S. appears to be retreating from Asia-Pacific given President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy, they added.
It’s also not clear whether the U.S. will negotiate any mega trade deals with economies in the region under President-elect Joe Biden, the analysts said.