After talks aimed at wrapping up the Trans-Pacific Partnership almost collapsed in acrimony in Vietnam last week, ministers are now warning that a rival Asian pact should also focus on quality over speed.
That doesn't mean the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership won't get done. But the fraught negotiations in Danang over the TPP showed that nations aren't going to rush trade deals just to defend globalization against the rising protectionist mood since Donald Trump entered the White House.
The RCEP, which includes China and India but not the U.S., is on the agenda for discussions at regional summits this week in Manila. Most officials acknowledge the deal will miss a year-end deadline, though they hope to have a framework agreement in early 2018.