The RCEP: bigger and more secretive than the TPP
The TPP-12 corporate agenda faced opposition in most TPP countries, especially the US, where there was bipartisan opposition leading to the US withdrawal in 2017. But the Japanese and Australian governments led the push to resurrect the TPP-11 and are pushing to repeat the same model in other trade agreements.
Next in line is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The negotiations began in 2012 between 16 countries: India China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN countries, which represent half the world's population.
Leaked documents have shown that the RCEP could include corporate rights to sue governments, stronger monopolies on medicines that would delay the availability of cheaper medicines, restricted regulation of essential services and more temporary workers vulnerable to exploitation, without any protections for workers’ rights or the environment. We link with similar campaigns in other countries to oppose these damaging proposals. See our Senate petition here.
Campaign Achievements: India withdraws and negotiations delayed
In November 2019, 15 governments claimed they had completed the text of the deal, but strong community campaigns from Indian civil society forced the Indian government to withdraw, which reduced its claimed benefits for Australia and other countries. Some of the most damaging clauses like corporate rights to sue governments and stronger medicine monopolies may have been removed from the text, would be a victory, but we will not know for sure until the text is released. The negotiations have been delayed by India's withdrawal and the new target date for signing is November 2020.We will continue to demand the release of texts before they are signed for public and parliamentary scrutiny.
Learn more about the key issues in the RCEP: