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No RCEP signing until November 2020 as India does a cost benefit study and is asked to re-join

January 23, 2020: In November 2019 15 governments announced they had concluded the talks for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), but India withdrew from the negotiations. The target date for signing has now been postponed to November 2020, as other governments ask India to negotiate to re-join.

Trade rules could impact on regulation of facial recognition technology

January 21, 2020: A New York Times investigation reprinted in the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that an American software company, established by Australian developer Hoan Ton-That, has developed ground-breaking facial recognition software that is being used without any regulation or public scrutiny by both public agencies and private companies in the US.

US economists criticise cosy consensus for free trade agreements but agree that Trump’s tariff wars not the solution

January 13, 2020: Noah Smith recently reported on a debate about US trade policy at an American Economic Association meeting that showed more economists are criticising the “cosy consensus” on corporate-dominated free trade agreements.

US has withdrawn threatened Chinese tariff increases, but details of full deal not published

December 19, 2019: In a reported ‘Phase One’ agreement with China, the US has agreed to ditch its threatened new tariffs of $156 billion on Chinese goods, and has reduced but not removed existing tariffs. In return, China has agreed to buy more US agricultural exports and change its trade practices in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services and currency.

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