August 1. 2017: The Australian government's announcement of bilateral talks with the Pacific Alliance of Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico brings the total number of current trade negotiations to ten. Most are seeking to replicate the failed TPP. See our handy two-page summary of all trade deals here.
July 30, 2017: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks in Hyderabad, India, ended on Friday July 28 under a shroud of secrecy, but serious differences remain on medicines, copyright, e-commerce, government procurement, and investor rights to sue governments .
The Australian government has announced that it has begun negotiations with Pacific Alliance countries (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico) and has called for submissions.
The Pacific Alliance is conducting simultaneous bilateral negotiations not only with Australia, but with New Zealand, Singapore and Canada. This means there will not be a regional agreement, but a series of bilateral agreements, which will all be slightly different.
July 28, 2017: According to The Hindu, India is being pressed in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks in Hyderabad to make binding commitments to open up its government procurement sector - by China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and two ASEAN bloc members, Singapore and Malaysia.
July 27, 2017: Members of community groups who attended brief consultations with negotiators at the RCEP talks in Hyderabad said that the refusal to disclose details of proposals meant the consultations were inadequate and demanded publication of negotiating texts.
July 26, 2017: Women's organisations, including small farmers and informal workers, were prominent in RCEP protests held in Hyderabad this week. The Hindu reports that increased global corporate rights could have severe impacts on women. For example, women farmers use seeds saved from the previous harvest. Patenting of seeds by global companies would price them out of reach.
July 24, 2017: As RCEP talks and protests take place in Hyderabad, this video shows the negative impacts of the RCEP corporate agenda on Indian farmers, and on regional access to medicines and essential services.
July 21, 2017 There are proposals in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that government regulation should have no compulsory disclosure of source codes, no restriction on transfer and processing of data outside the country, and no requirements for computing facilities to be locally based. These proposals raise questions about the ability of governments to have effective national regulation of data privacy and data security.