The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a huge free trade pact which was signed in November 2020 after eight years of laborious talks and deliberations by 15 Asia-Pacific countries. It was ratified on January 1, 2022. Besides 10 ASEAN member countries, the pact includes China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand. However, despite the long negotiations, India withdrew from the pact in November 2019. To explore why, I use the “two-level game” perspective offered by Robert Putnam. The main argument is that by themselves neither domestic nor international/structural factors can account for India’s exit; but the enmeshment of both provides a comprehensive treatment.

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