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some proposals for stronger medicine monopolies, which would delay the availability of cheaper medicines, have been withdrawn from the RCEP negotiations.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.
June 25, 2019: A new report "Red carpet courts: 10 stories of how the rich and powerful hijacked justice" published by Friends of the Earth, the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) presents ten ISDS cases that have been filed, threatened or decided since 2015. The report aims to show the human stories behind these ISDS cases.
June 24 2019: Leaders of the ten ASEAN countries met in Bangkok on June 22 and urged support for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade and investment deal between ASEAN and India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. But community organisation advocates meeting before the ASEAN summit argued that the RCEP development model favours international investor interests over people and the environment.