November 11, 2019: Professor Biswajit Dhar from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi has analysed the Indian government’s decision to withdraw from the RCEP. Highlighting the ongoing disagreement between India and other RCEP countries on market access provisions, the protection and promotion of foreign investment and e-commerce provisions as central to India’s decision to withdraw from the negotiations.
November 7, 2019: Business economist Ian Verrender has criticised the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as another example of overlapping bilateral and regional trade agreements with complex rules that will not deliver claimed economic benefits but could do harm.
November 5, 2019: Listen to AFTINET Convener Pat Ranald's interview with Radio National Breakfast about the government's decision to join the RCEP, the impact of India's withdrawal from the deal, corporate influence on its content and why the text of the agreement should be released and evaluated before signing.
November 5, 2019: “India’s departure from the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) announced yesterday in Bangkok is not only caused by India’s resistance to lower tariffs. There is a hidden agenda of non-tariff issues that could restrict future government regulation by giving more rights to global corporations, “AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
November 4, 2019: News reports over the weekend suggest that it is unlikely that Prime Ministers will announce the conclusion of the RCEP agreement at their meeting in Bangkok today. This comes after RCEP Trade Ministers were unable to reach agreement on all of the outstanding issues at a meeting on Friday.
October 31, 2019: A new article by Richard Denniss, chief economist at The Australia Institute, argues against Australia signing free trade agreements that undermine our sovereignty. Denniss calls out the hypocrisy of the Morrison government that has ratcheted up populist rhetoric while signing up to agreements that grant excessive rights to international investors at the expense of the Australian community.
October 30, 2019: A new article by eco-stylist and sustainable fashion advocate, Nina Gbor, looks at the risk of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement for women. The article comes as Trade Ministers and Prime Ministers will convene in Bangkok on the weekend to try and finalise the deal, amid reports that negotiations could push over into the new year.
October 29, 2019: Media reports are suggesting that it is unlikely that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will be finalised this year, with negotiations likely to continue on into 2020.
October 28, 2019: A new article by Rahul Nath Choudhury in the The Interpreter outlines concern, particularly amongst developing countries, about the inclusion of e-commerce provisions in trade agreements. Many developing country governments, and civil society organisations, are concerned that the e-commerce agenda is an attempt by the US to establish international rules that suit big tech companies from developed countries, locking developing countries out of the digital economy.