Media Release, August 4, 2016: An unprecedented alliance of civil society groups from Australia, New Zealand, ASEAN countries, India, Japan and South Korea, today issued a call to Trade Ministers meeting in Laos to discuss the mega trade agreement involving 16 countries, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
15 June 2016: As negotiators meet in New Zealand this week for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the agreement threatens access to affordable medicines for half the world’s population and appeals for the removal of harmful intellectual property provisions that could potentially raise treatment costs by creating new forms of monopolies and delaying the entry of affordable generics in the market.
June 7: The ALP trade policy released today shows the influence of community campaigning. It includes the release of draft texts during negotiations and tabling text of proposed agreements in Parliament before signing.ISDS provisions would be excluded from future agreements and be reviewed in existing agreements. Labour market testing would be reintroduced for temporary skilled workers. AFTINET will publish an evaluation of all major parties' trade policies soon.
21 May 2016
Kyla Tienhaara (ANU) and Belinda Townsend (Deakin University) write that it is India, rather than China, that has been the most outspoken in opposing US-style trade rules in the RCEP.
30 April 2016
Trade experts including AFTINET’s Convener Dr Patricia Ranald, the Public Health Association’s Dr Belinda Townsend and Dr Kyla Tienhaara from the ANU travelled to Perth to attend Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) stakeholder consultations.
At a lively public forum attended by around 50 people, they warned of the dangers in the RCEP deal, which includes the 10 ASEAN countries plus Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, India and South Korea.
27 April 2016
A draft Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intellectual Property chapter was leaked online last week and it raises concerns about access for medicines, especially in low and middle income countries.
The twelfth round of negotiations towards the agreement are currently taking place in Perth.
Dr Belinda Townsend from the Public Health Association of Australia has published a blog on the leaked chapter and its implications for access to medicines, which you can read here.
18 April 2016
The TPP has been finalised and the text has finally been exposed, but two other giant trade deals are still being negotiated behind closed doors: the ASEAN-centred ‘ (RCEP) and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) which mainly brings together the EU and industrialised countries.
Read more for a brief summary of where they are up to...
The massive US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and the ASEAN-centred ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’ (RCEP) will together create a new trade “architecture” in the Pacific. But who will benefit from the new rules?
12 February 2016
When Trade Minister Andrew Robb signed the TPP he told the Fairfax press that he was now setting his sights on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The two deals combined would create “a vast trade agreement architecture” for the world, he said.
September 2015: RCEP negotiations between Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, India and 10 ASEAN countries are now considering proposals for stronger monopolies on medicines and for foreign investor rights to sue governments over changes to domestic legislation, and aiming to finish the negotiations in 2016, AFTINET has done a second submission which addresses these issues in more detail.