July 16, 2019: Media reports from South Korea have suggested that South Korean Prime Minister Mr. Lee Nak-Yeon is considering abolishing ISDS from Korean Trade agreements. The reports state that Prime Minister Lee Nak-Yeon made the remark in the National Assembly while responding to a lawmaker, Mr. Song, at the plenary session of the Budget and Accounting Committee.
July 15, 2019: A new briefing by GRAIN, an international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems, argues that the RCEP trade agreement could increase land-grabbing across Asia and undermine the livelihoods of millions of farmers and fisherfolk across the region.
July 11, 2019: A new article by Deborah James at the Centre for Economic and Policy Research has criticised the attempt by industrialised countries to use the WTO to establish new e-commerce rules that would increase the power of Big Tech corporations and restrict developing countries' digital industrialisation.
July 9, 2019: Before the RCEP negotiations in Melbourne, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir was quoted in the Malay Mail saying that he would be open to suggestions from China that the RCEP could be reduced to 13 rather than 16 governments, so that the deal could be completed by the end of the year.
July 8: 2019: The Times of India reports that some proposals for stronger medicine monopolies, which would delay the availability of cheaper medicines, have been withdrawn from the RCEP negotiations. This follows strong campaigning by public health and other community groups which pressured the Indian government to reject them.
July 4, 2019: Sam Cossar from Friends of the Earth explains in The Ecologist why investor rights to sue governments when they act to protect people and the environment should be kept out of the RCEP and other trade deals.
July 3, 2019: Australian Academics Deborah Gleeson, Belinda Townsend and Brigitte Tenni have written an op-ed in Croaky about the risks that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership poses to public health in Australia and across the region.
July 3, 2019: AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald and Dr Deborah Gleeson from Latrobe University were interviewed about the RCEP by Philip Adams on ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live programme. This follows a report in the Melbourne Age and other Fairfax media about the letter to the Trade Minister from 52 community groups condemning the secrecy and harmful proposals in the RCEP negotiations.
July 1, 2019, Media Release:The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations between 16 countries continue in Melbourne behind closed doors. The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) and other organisations* are hosting a Public Forum to discuss the social and environmental risks of the RCEP trade deal today at 6:30-8:30pm at Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton.