When it comes to sweeping global free-trade agreements, U.S. President Donald Trump isn't the only party pooper. Two years after Trump withdrew the U.S. from a 12-nation deal known as the TPP, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pulled his country out of a 16-nation grouping led by China known as the RCEP. In both cases, protectionism played a part; in both cases, the show goes on.

What is the RCEP?

What began in 2012 as a routine harmonizing of agreements between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), turned into a deal creating potentially the world's biggest free trade bloc. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, to give it its full name, is aimed at strengthening trading ties among China and others with ASEAN members. Broadly speaking, it would lower tariffs and other barriers to the trade of goods among the 16 countries that were in, or had existing trade deals with, ASEAN.