RCEP: Shrouded in secrecy
The RCEP is even bigger and more secretive than the TPP. It involves all ten ASEAN countries, plus China, Japan, India, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. These 16 countries represent half the world’s population. Secret negotiations began in 2012 and continue in 2017.
The RCEP is even more secretive than the TPP, which was infamous for its lack of transparency. While the TPP negotiations did include some limited civil society stakeholder consultation, opportunities for public interest groups like AFTINET to ask questions and express their views during RCEP negotiations have only occurred since 2016.
What we do know from leaked documents is that there is a push to use the TPP as a model - which means the RCEP could also be a bad deal for democracy, health, the environment and working people. At this stage, it appears that India and some ASEAN countries are resisting some ofthe worst of these clauses.
AFTINET is campaigning for more transparency in the RCEP negotiations, including release of negotiating texts and release of the final text before it is signed.
Find out more:
- Don’t repeat the failures of the TPP in other agreements (Dr Patricia Ranald in the Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 2016)
- And you thought the TPP was secret. The RCEP is even worse (Peter Martin in Fairfax Media, Nov 2016)
For all the latest news on the RCEP, follow this link.
Updated: November 2018