ASEAN-China FTA negotiations stall

The two sides were due to agree on sched­ules for the lib­er­al­iza­tion of mer­chan­dise trade by the end of the month. bq. Ong, the sec­re­tary gen­er­al of the Asso­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the absence of a com­mon posi­tion by South­east Asian coun­tries on which prod­ucts should be includ­ed in a bas­ket of goods to be lib­er­alised could delay an agree­ment on the chap­ter cov­er­ing trade in goods.(“ChannelNewsAsia”: Why can’t the ASEAN’s agree on the goods to put in the ‘lib­er­al­iza­tion bas­ket’ (for­get the WTO rules that say sub­stan­tial­ly all trade must be lib­er­al­ized)? Because ASEAN’s own free trade area is “dogged”: by a host of dif­fer­ent lib­er­al­iza­tion ‘bas­kets’, includ­ing dif­fer­ent prod­ucts assigned by each mem­ber coun­try to its self-declared tem­po­rary, tran­si­tion­al and per­ma­nent exclu­sion lists.

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