What's next for trade deals RCEP and TISA?

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 ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’ (RCEP) and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) which mainly brings together the EU and industrialised countries.

Here’s a brief summary of where they are up to:

RCEP

The next round of RCEP negotiations are scheduled for the end of this month in Perth with further negotiations scheduled for Auckland June 12 to 18 and an RCEP trade ministers meeting August 1-7. 

AFTINET is linking with similar groups in RCEP countries to demand a more open and democratic process and to oppose harmful proposals like stronger monopolies on medicines, ISDS and increases in temporary workers. AFTINET convener Dr Pat Ranald will be travelling to WA to attend stakeholder meetings and will be speaking at a public forum on the 28th of April – details here.

TISA (Trade in Services Agreement)

These negotiations involve mostly industrialised countries led by the US and Europe, with a minority of developing countries. Leaked documents have revealed that global services corporations are driving the agenda for deregulation and privatisation of services.

It’s no secret that many negotiators are aiming for consistency between the TISA and the TPP, so now that we have the TPP text, we can look out for potential devils in the detail that might be in both agreements.

The goal is that the deal will conclude by the end of this year but this may not happen. Some developing countries involved in negotiations may not agree to including TPP-style standards pushed by industrialised countries like Australia, South Korea and Japan.