November 5, 2019: Listen to AFTINET Convener Pat Ranald's interview with Radio National Breakfast about the government's decision to join the RCEP, the impact of India's withdrawal from the deal, corporate influence on its content and why the text of the agreement should be released and evaluated before signing.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
November 5, 2019: “India’s departure from the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) announced yesterday in Bangkok is not only caused by India’s resistance to lower tariffs. There is a hidden agenda of non-tariff issues that could restrict future government regulation by giving more rights to global corporations, “AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
November 4, 2019: News reports over the weekend suggest that it is unlikely that Prime Ministers will announce the conclusion of the RCEP agreement at their meeting in Bangkok today. This comes after RCEP Trade Ministers were unable to reach agreement on all of the outstanding issues at a meeting on Friday.
October 30, 2019: A new article by eco-stylist and sustainable fashion advocate, Nina Gbor, looks at the risk of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement for women. The article comes as Trade Ministers and Prime Ministers will convene in Bangkok on the weekend to try and finalise the deal, amid reports that negotiations could push over into the new year.
October 29, 2019: Media reports are suggesting that it is unlikely that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will be finalised this year, with negotiations likely to continue on into 2020.
October 15, 2019: Chief negotiators are continuing to meet in Bangkok this week after last week’s RCEP Ministers’ meeting, intended to finalise the negotiations, failed to reach agreement on key provisions. Governments still say they are working to complete the agreement by the end of the year, but final agreement is proving difficult to achieve.
September 24, 2019: Social Action for Community and Development, Focus on the Global South and other Cambodian civil society organisations have developed a short video showing the risks that the RCEP poses to communities across Cambodia, including farmers and workers.
September 17, 2019: AFTINET Convener, Dr Pat Ranald, has published an op-ed in the Conversation today about progress in RCEP negotiations after Malaysia’s trade minister Datuk Darell Leiking revealed that Malaysia and each of the other 15 parties to the RCEP negotiations had agreed to exclude ISDS provisions from the deal.
September 12, 2019: AFTINET held a Parliamentary Forum on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on Wednesday 11 September in order to inform Parliamentarians of the social and environmental risks of the agreement and provide an update on progress in the negotiations.
August 26, 2019: Indonesian civil society groups protested against the RCEP trade agreement last Friday, arguing that the agreement promotes corporate rights over people’s rights. The protest coincided with intersessional RCEP negotiations that took place in Jakarta from 23-25 August.