China applies to join the CPTPP

September 21, 2021

China has submitted [1] a formal letter of application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP [2]). Now, after years [3] of speculation, it’s decision time. Will the current members of the CPTPP agree to allow China to start accession or not? As Talking Trade readers may recall, the CPTPP accession process has started already. Members have formed accession working parties to manage the addition of the UK.

As Talking Trade readers may recall, the CPTPP accession process has started already [4]. Members have formed accession working parties to manage the addition of the UK.

With China’s request, members will [5] need to hold formal bilateral consultations. Then, they will convene to decide on what to do with the application request. If the current members decide to allow it, China will proceed to the accession stage and start working on their own country-specific schedules for market access in goods, services, investment, movement of business persons, state-owned enterprise (SOE) exceptions, and government procurement commitments. The text of the agreement and all existing member schedules are not intended to be adjusted in the wake of new accession discussions.

The key question of concern for current members will be whether or not they judge China to be ready, willing, and able to uphold the existing rules in the agreement.