Reassessing RCEP’s Implications for Digital Trade and E-Commerce

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Wei Liang
Publication Date: 
May 4th, 2022

In this piece, Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations, and Professor Wei Liang (Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey) review and critique optimistic and pessimistic perspectives about the digital trade and e-commerce provisions (Chapter 12) of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. As with the other articles in this four-part series, Blanchard and Liang show enthusiasts need to temper their optimism while the critics need to recognize RCEP will yield positive outcomes. Blanchard and Liang highlight that China, Japan, and South Korea are likely to gain the most from chapter 12 just as they are most likely to gain from RCEP’s provisions pertaining to trade and foreign direct investment. They note businesses and policymakers from non-Big Three countries will have to take an activist role if they want to maximize their returns from RCEP.

This publication originally appeared as Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Wei Liang, “Reassessing RCEP’s Implications for Digital Trade and E-Commerce," The Diplomat, May 4, 2022, Copyright remains with the original holders.