The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega regional trade deal involving sixteen nations from Asia-Pacific. RCEP will impact the lives of billions of people, from the quality of the food they eat to the energy they consume and the affordability of life-saving medicines. Yet, RCEP negotiations are being conducted almost completely in secret, with limited to no meaningful public participation. Most elected officials have, at best, limited access to the negotiating texts, which remain out of reach for civil society.
This weekend, the European Commission announced that the negotiations with Mexico to "modernise" their Free Trade Agreement have been concluded. A key feature of the “modernisation” process is the inclusion of a controversial investment protection chapter with the same characteristics as the one recently included in the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA).
The intense international campaign for the unconditional release of the 14 protesters charged in the aftermath of the protest activities against the December WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong has achieved a major success.
whether Philippines' Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law becomes truly a vehicle for advancing reform will depend on whether pro-reform forces can create, at the local level, the critical political mass involving farmers, progressive elements at the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Church, and other groups that would overcome the rearguard actions of the landed class to delay the inevitable.