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Economy

Asia advances RCEP talks as Trump's trade policy unites members

Ministers aim to conclude negotiations by year-end but gaps remain

RCEP comprises the 10 members of ASEAN, plus Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Together they account for a third of the world's GDP.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- After two days of talks here, ministers from the 16 members of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement on Friday said they had taken a step to a "substantial conclusion" of negotiations this year.

Their announcement suggests an important milestone ahead in the five years of negotiations on the RCEP, which is broader than the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and includes all of Asia's top economies.

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