The multilateral trade framework has contributed significantly to increasing access of exporters to various global markets by hastening the lowering, and in many cases, complete elimination of import tariffs. The expansion of market access by lowering of tariffs has, interestingly been accompanied by a growth of protectionism in another form – non-tariff measures. The Asian region, particularly the Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia, has witnessed a dramatic reduction in import tariffs across a wide range of goods traded between countries. The Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership emphasises ‘regulatory coherence’ underpinning the intention of members to work closely for coordinating national regulations impacting external trade. The growth of new high standards in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economies and their impact on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations would depend on the abilities of specific interest groups to keep lobbying effectively for institutionalising such standards.