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)

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APWLD | 5-Aug-2016
Similar to the TPP, this trade agreement will institutionalise inequalities;it will severely curtail peoples’ rights and freedoms and cement corporate rights over national public interest law and the right of governments to govern in the interests of their constituents.
| 3-Aug-2016
95 civil society organisations strongly and publicly urge countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to reject ISDS in the agreement.
Deccan Herald | 3-Aug-2016
RCEP trade ministers will meet in Laos on August 5 to try and resolve issues that are stuck in negotiations.
NZ Herald | 13-Jun-2016
Secretive negotiations for the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP began in November 2012. The 13th round is being held at SkyCity in Auckland.
TNI | 24-May-2016
The Philippines has a web of investment treaties which severely constrain the government’s ability to regulate or close polluting mines, a legal straitjacket that will become even tighter if the EU–Philippines Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proceed
KEI | 22-Apr-2016
Overall, the investment chapter is designed to give private parties the right to extract costly damages from governments that implement policies that harm profits.
Public Services International | 1-Mar-2016
New report shows that trade and investment deals like RCEP will further adversely affect the ability of the government of India to tax corporations effectively and fairly.
Financial Express | 6-Jan-2016
India is set to propose a non-legal and non-adversarial mechanism to resolve trade-impeding non-tariff measures among the 16 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries.

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