Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

RCEP: Global Corporations could sue governments

Like the TPP, the RCEP could contain rights for foreign corporations to bypass national courts and sue governments in unfair international tribunals. This system is called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS has been opposed by civil society groups and some RCEP governments and in September 2019 the Malaysian trade Minister announced it had been excluded from the negotiations. But the text was still secret, and this cannot be confirmed until the the text is released after signing in 2020.

RCEP: Shrouded in secrecy

The RCEP is even bigger than the TPP with its 16 countries representing half the world’s population. It's also more secretive than the TPP, which was infamous for its lack of transparency. 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.

Leaked RCEP documents confirm restrictions on government regulation of financial crises

March 23, 2017: Leaked documents from the December 2016 RCEP negotiations have been published on the KEI website. They show how the RCEP investment and services chapters restrict government regulation of investment flows and financial services.

An extract from the investment chapter sets out rules for governments dealing with balance of payments crises or other financial crisis.

Is the RCEP the TPP by another name?

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. First in line is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).