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Sign the PETITION to the Senate against damaging clauses in RCEP

The RCEP is a massive trade deal being negotiated in secret between Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Korea, Japan and the ten-member countries of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). The proposed RCEP would cover half the world's population.

In the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election, we need to tell all political parties in the Senate not to agree to damaging clauses in the negotiations.

Sign the PETITION to the Senate against damaging clauses in the proposed RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and in favour of enforceable workers' rights and environmental standards.

See more information, including a printable flyer, here. You can print a hard copy of the Petition here.

Podcast on trade, environment and mining companies suing governments to challenge environmental laws

Lucy Manne interviews AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald on the impacts of trade agreements on the environment. They discuss the growing use of ISDS cases by mining companies to sue governments for millions of dollars to prevent regulation to address climate change, and the global movement against this.

Hear the full podcast here.

India urged to stand firm against RCEP drafts on medicine and investor rights to sue governments

Monday, March 18, 2019: Third World Network Researcher Prathibha Sivasubramanian has pointed out the strong policy clash between India and leaked chapters in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership over medicine patents and investor rights to sue governments (ISDS). She urged India’s government to stand by its policies.

Explainer - Indonesia - Australia Free Trade Agreement

 Dr Patricia Ranald's article in The Conversation explains that the new Indonesia - Australia Comprehensive Partnership Agreement has no independent assessment of costs and benefits.  There are no chapters committing both governments to United Nations standards for labour rights and the environment to prevent a race to the bottom. But it does have a chapter allowing foreign investors to sue governments if the investor can argue that a new law or policy has harmed their investment (ISDS). And it greatly increases the number of working holiday visas to be issued to Indonesian workers despite the evidence that many of these workers face grave exploitation in Australia. All of these issues contradict the new Labor Party trade policy.

RCEP Ministerial talks: Farmers, civil society bodies warn against patenting seeds and plants

March 5, 2019: Forty-one Indian farmer and civil society organisations have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing that India should not agree to proposals on intellectual property (IP) on seeds and plants at the on-going Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.

Indian draft National e-Commerce Policy breaks new ground

Wednesday, February 27, 2019: Rich countries including Australia decided at the recent World Economic Forum meeting at Davos to push for an E-Commerce Agreement in the World Trade Organisation. Their formula is for ‘free digital trade’, for rules that suit global digital corporations – notably Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. This push has been strongly criticised by consumer and civil society groups.

Experts warn of TPP-11 downsides for ASEAN countries and South Korea

Monday, February 25, 2019: Last month the eleven members of the now-operational Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership invited other interested states to join. So far, seven of the original eleven have ratified. Aspiring new members must have bilateral talks with each of the eleven founder members and all eleven would have to agree to their joining.

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