RCEP negotiation must stop, demands Assembly of the Poor ,Thailand

The administration of the military dictatorial government under the junta National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) creates immense hardship to the grassroots people. Recently AOP gave the military government four demands: to ban toxic agrichemicals, to stop destroying national healthcare scheme, to reduce the price of petroleum and to stop violating the workers’ rights, on July 17, 2018 which is the first day of The 23rd round of negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) held in Bangkok.

The RCEP negotiation has been done for 22 rounds and now it is the 23rd. From every round, no information has been released. We do not know what the governments are negotiating, and what and how much adverse impact will be on the poor. From our own experiences and from our exchange of knowledge with our fellow poor people from countries that the FTAs are already in effect, such as South Korea and Japan, we are aware that free trade negotiation never benefits the poor. But it gives opportunities for the capitalist TNCs to control and dictate the food and agriculture systems absolutely.

Assembly of the Poor needs to issue a statement to protect the rights and benefits of the country and people. We demand that:
1. RCEP negotiation must stop.
2. All countries involving in the RCEP negotiation must disclose all related information to public.
3. Before and after any trade negotiation, all countries must get the consent from their people through the parliamentary process.
4. As the military dictatorial government under NCPO is not elected by people, it does not hold any legitimacy to negotiate on behalf of Thai people. We demand the military dictatorial government to stop its role in the RCEP negotiation immediately.

Assembly of the Poor
July 24, 2018