The China-Pacific Free Trade Agreement: What You Need to Know

The China-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) is a comprehensive trade agreement between China and 14 other countries in the Pacific region, including Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Signed in November 2018, the agreement aims to eliminate tariffs, reduce barriers to trade, and increase economic cooperation in the region.

What does the CPFTA cover?

The CPFTA covers a wide range of goods and services, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, manufacturing, and telecommunications. It also includes provisions on intellectual property, e-commerce, and government procurement. Under the agreement, tariffs on 90 percent of goods traded between China and the 14 countries will be eliminated within five years, with the remaining tariffs to be phased out over the next decade.

What are the benefits of the CPFTA?

The CPFTA is expected to bring significant economic benefits to all parties involved. By reducing trade barriers and eliminating tariffs, the agreement will increase market access for businesses in the region, leading to increased trade and investment. This, in turn, is expected to create jobs, boost economic growth, and improve standards of living for people in the region.

For China, the CPFTA provides an opportunity to expand its economic influence in the Pacific region and strengthen its ties with neighboring countries. The agreement also helps to counterbalance the influence of the United States in the region, particularly in the wake of President Trump`s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

For the other countries involved in the CPFTA, the agreement provides an opportunity to deepen economic ties with China and access its large and growing consumer market. It also helps to reduce reliance on the United States as a trading partner and diversify their economic relationships in the region.

What are the challenges of the CPFTA?

Despite the potential benefits of the CPFTA, the agreement also faces several challenges. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that all parties involved comply with the provisions of the agreement. China has a track record of disregarding international trade rules and engaging in unfair trade practices, such as dumping cheap goods on foreign markets and stealing intellectual property. Ensuring that China plays by the rules of the CPFTA will be crucial to the success of the agreement.

Another challenge is the potential political backlash in some of the countries involved in the CPFTA. Some critics argue that the agreement will lead to a loss of jobs in industries that compete with Chinese imports. Others are concerned about the potential for China to use its economic power to exert political influence over other countries in the region.


The China-Pacific Free Trade Agreement has the potential to transform the economic landscape of the Pacific region. By reducing trade barriers and increasing economic cooperation, the agreement is expected to create jobs, boost economic growth, and improve standards of living for people in the region. However, the success of the agreement will depend on ensuring that all parties involved comply with its provisions and address the challenges that arise along the way.

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