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Why South Korea should join the CPTPP

With the window closing on Seoul's leverage, time is of the essence

| South Korea
Moon Jae-in speaks during an online New Year news conference on Jan. 18: South Korean President expressed the country's interest in joining the CPTPP but progress has stalled since.   © Reuters

Peter A. Petri is Carl J. Shapiro professor of international finance in the Brandeis International Business School and a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution. Michael G. Plummer is the director of SAIS Europe and Eni professor of international economics at Johns Hopkins University and a nonresident senior fellow of the East-West Center.

With surprising applications from the United Kingdom, China and Taiwan, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has moved to the center stage of East Asian geopolitics. But why is South Korea -- long expected to be the first new member of the CPTPP -- still missing from this list?

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