February 19, 2019: “Secret talks for a mega-trade deal between Australia and 15 Asia-Pacific countries that will cover half the world’s population will resume this week in Bali. While global corporations dominate the agenda, civil society groups and parliaments have been marginalized. The public and parliament will not see the text until after the deal has been signed,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
The RCEP is a massive trade deal being negotiated in secret between Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Japan and the ten-member countries of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). The proposed RCEP would cover 2.2 billion people. India left the negotiations in November 2019, but may re-join before it is signed in late 2020.
We need to tell all political parties in the Senate not to agree to damaging clauses in the negotiations.
Sign the PETITION to the Senate against damaging clauses in the proposed RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and in favour of enforceable workers' rights and environmental standards.
December 16, 2018 Dr Patricia Ranald outlined AFTINET's vision for trade justice at a fringe event at the ALP conference,.
13 December 2018: A recent study by think-tank Third World Network into India’s “free” trade deals with Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has increased India’s trade deficit, reports Hindu Business Line. In other words, there are more imports to, and less exports from India.
10 December 2018: Food and agriculture specialist Devinder Sharma warns in The Tribune last week that the Indian Government must keep agriculture out of RCEP trade deal.
Sharma warns that the RCEP deal will lead to a flood of cheaper food imports to India, and is particularly risky at a time when Indian agriculture is in crisis.
29 November 2018: The RCEP trade deal currently being negotiated between 16 countries including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the ten ASEAN south East Asian countries, covers half of the world’s population.
Delegates from public health and other community groups from RCEP countries met last week at the 4th Global People's Health Assembly in Bangladesh and produced a critical statement on the possible impacts of the RCEP on public health.
28 November 2018: Strong resistance to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) from both civil society and domestic industry in India has caused their Government to commission a study on potential gains or losses to its economy from the “free” trade deal, writes Banikinkar Pattanayak. Comprehensive studies are not frequently conducted before or after countries sign such trade agreements, so the move is welcomed by many.
26 November 2018: Indonesian health specialist Eva Novi Karina has warned of the possible dangers to public health in Indonesia and other developing countries if the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal is signed.
15 November 2018: RCEP Ministers from 16 countries meeting in Singapore have confirmed in a statement that they will miss the deadline of finishing the agreement in 2018, and that talks will continue in 2019. The statement says that seven of twenty chapters of the agreement have been completed.
The Regional comprehensive Economic Partnership talks between China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN countries, covering half the world’s population, began in 2012 and have missed many deadlines.