March 4, 2017: As RCEP negotiations continue in Japan, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has sent a letter to all negotiating countries to express their serious concern over provisions that threaten to restrict access to medicines for millions of people by delaying access to cheaper medicines and by allowing pharmaceutical companies to sue governments in international tribunals.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
March 4, 2017: The Japanese family farmer movement recently protested outside RCEP negotiations in Kobe, Japan, with the message 'Seeds are ours!’
Photo: Japanese family farmer movement (Nouminren)’s recent action in Kobe during RCEP negotiations
March 2, 2017: As RCEP negotiations continue in Japan this week, copyright experts have voiced their concerns about the way the agreement’s intellectual property chapter could undermine the public interest.
February 27, 2017: Negotiations between Australia, New Zealand China, India, Japan, South Korea and 10 ASEAN countries continue this week for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, Japan. The negotiations are held in secret, and the Japanese government has been reluctant to allow community groups to meet with negotiators, only arranging a short meeting with little notice. Negotiations will continue through 2017.
Leaked documents have revealed that TPP-like proposals on stronger medicine monopolies and investor rights to sue governments are on the table. Community groups from most RCEP countries have urged governments to reject these proposals and release negotiating texts. See AFTINET media release here.
Tell the Australian trade Minister to say no to the TPP in the RCEP here.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated between the 10 ASEAN countries, plus China, Japan, India, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
The aim is to finish by the end of 2017.
ISDS TPP-like proposals: India and some ASEAN countries are resisting this and want more exclusions for public interest regulation.
Stronger medicine monopolies: Japan and Korea have tabled TPP-like proposals, resisted by India and low income countries.
Movement of temporary workers: May be proposals for increased numbers of temporary workers without testing whether local workers are available. Read more here.
January 24, 2017: Dr Particia Ranald's oped in the Fairfax media argues for inclusive and progressive fair trade policies as an alternative to both fundamentalist 'free' trade and Trump and Hansen's knee-jerk nationalism and discrimination based on fear.
11 January 2017: A new research paper in Third World Resurgence outlines key concerns that civil society groups, treatment providers and academics have regarding not only the intellectual property proposals but also the continuing lack of transparency in the RCEP negotiation process.
20 December, 2016: The Productivity Commission Final Report on Australia’s intellectual property policy shows how it has been constrained by trade agreements. Global pharmaceutical companies have successfully lobbied for longer monopolies in trade agreements which have delayed the availability of cheaper medicines, resulting in higher prices.