The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is currently under negotiation between ASEAN member states plus the six countries that have existing trade agreements with ASEAN. It encompasses Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

RCEP should in principle include investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions.

ISDS proposals have reportedly been tabled by Korea and Japan. They are likely to be similar to those in their own bilateral agreements and in the TPP text. Civil society groups have raised serious concerns over public health and other ‘safeguards’ proposed for ISDS in the TPP and argued that ISDS should be excluded in order to protect health, environment and other public interest regulations.

India and China are likely to table different proposals or concept papers based on their own experience. The Indian government is currently considering a revised draft bilateral investment treaty that reduces investor rights compared to other version of ISDS.

(November 2015)

MSF | 3-Mar-2017
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) raises concerns over provisions under negotiation in the RCEP investment chapter that threaten to restrict access to affordable medicines for millions of people
People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty | 2-Mar-2017
RCEP will be harmful to developing countries’ struggle for industrialization, access to cheaper medicines, quality social services, and protection of the environment
Vietnamnet | 20-Feb-2017
The RCEP will have the effect of locking in Vietnam - and all the other signatories - and prevent them from modifying or withdrawing investors’ rights they have granted, even if some years later they decide that granting those rights did not contribute to development in the country.
Focus | 3-Feb-2017
The recent investment arbitral decision against the Philippines in favor of the Belgian corporation should be a wake up call on the dangers posed by free trade and investment agreements.
Third World Resurgence | 12-Jan-2017
In highlighting that the drafts of many of its key chapters are substantially similar to those of the TPP, Sanya Reid Smith warns that the RCEP may end up as a replica of the former.
ABC News | 8-Dec-2016
A new report finds that corporations have launched 50 lawsuits, worth at least $US31 billion, using secret international arbitration tribunals against 11 countries in the Asian region.
Spicy IP | 9-Sep-2016
The latest round of RCEP talks paints a worrisome picture for the global south, given that it will bring 3.5 billion people and 12% of world trade into its fold.
The Nation | 30-Aug-2016
Activists of various NGOs have urged Asean governments to eliminate investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) draft.

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