bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

RCEP & agriculture

The RCEP trade deal will significantly impact agriculture and possibly deepen the damage to food sovereignty caused by previous trade agreements including those of the WTO.

The RCEP would threaten livelihoods in sectors like dairy, meat and other agricultural products by allowing duty free imports of subsidised products from Japan, New Zealand and Australia. India, with 100 million small scale dairy producers, and Vietnam are among the countries that will be most affected.

A leaked IP chapter proposed for the RCEP pushes for accession by all RCEP member states to the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991). Among the RCEP’s 16 countries, only seven are members of UPOV– the other nine (including Thailand, India, Indonesia and Philippines) would have to change their laws. UPOV 1991 provides monopoly rights to plant breeder rights at the cost of farmers’ rights. It makes it illegal, even criminal, for farmers to save seeds of protected varieties. CSOs have calculated that as a result of UPOV 1991, seed prices would go up by 200-600% in Thailand and by 400% in the Philippines.

Agrochemical sales and use in the Asia and Pacific region would also be boosted as a result of RCEP’s market access rules expanding trade in goods. Data exclusivity provisions in the IP chapter may also extend the patent protection periods of such products, putting upward pressure on food prices.

Another clear threat is land grabbing. If adopted, the leaked investment chapter and services chapter of RCEP may each provide that RCEP members may not discriminate against foreign corporations that want to buy local farmland. In many RCEP countries, this is not possible under current law and could have serious repercussions for agrarian reform in the region.


Summary report of the public seminar "Supermarkets: today’s food source - Trends and impact"
The vast expansion of the supermarket sector has been supported by free trade agreements that have promoted the industrial system of food production and processing, regional and international “supply chains”.
Dozens of grassroots groups want changes to ‘secret’ trade pact
While some states in East and Southeast Asia favor the 16-nation RCEP trade deal, many civil society groups say it lacks transparency and public participation.
RCEP negotiation must stop, demands Assembly of the Poor, Thailand
Free trade negotiation never benefits the poor. But it gives opportunities for the capitalist transnational corporations to control and dictate the food and agriculture systems absolutely.
RCEP: India must uphold peoples’ rights and welfare
Joining the RCEP would definitely have economic, social and environmental costs for India. Threats to the livelihoods of millions of farmers and workers due to cheaper imports are real and present danger.
States should be consulted before agreements are signed: CM
The Chief Minister of Kerela, state of India said in regard to ongoing RCEP trade negotiations that the union government should consult states before signing international agriculture trade agreement and free trade agreements.
New law and trade agreement will diminish farmers’ control over seeds
An amendment recently introduced in Thai parliaments will take seeds out of the hands of women, farmers and indigenous peoples who have kept seeds, shared seeds and developed a wealth of local knowledge on plant varieties— and put them instead in the hands of large corporations.
Narendra Modi may decide on course of RCEP trade talks
The development comes after a meeting convened by the prime minister’s office saw growing opposition to RCEP FTA from the secretaries of various government departments
Over come RCEP, bring Apple under special category product: Rakesh Singha to Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, India
CPI(M) member of Assembly Rakesh Singha on Monday urged the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur that he should take up the matter with the Union Government so that Himachali Apple could be brought under Special Category product to over come duty free import of apple to Indian markets.
Kerala fears zero tariff under RCEP may hit domestic dairy industry
Kerala has raised concern over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement between 16 Asian-Pacific countries on the ground that it would impact the country’s dairy sector.
Cheap Chinese apples sour J&K fruit
China’s new zero-import duty policy threatens to sour Kashmir’s famed apples for farmers. China’s proposal which falls under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’s ambit of a free-trade pact, could sound the death knell for the Rs 7,000 crore fruit industry.
5 hidden costs of the RCEP to people and planet
The RCEP has hidden costs for people’s lives
The milk crisis in India: The story behind the numbers
This book tells the story of how global trends including the ongoing threats of trade agreements such as the EU-India FTA and the RCEP are driving countless small dairy farmers into debt and ultimately out of farming.
RCEP: Robbing communities to extract profit
RCEP will give multinational corporations unprecedented rights
RCEP In India: A creamy deal for transnational dairy corporations, growing resistance from farmers
The Modi governmentmust stop the RCEP from destroying rural livelihoods.
CSOs challenge PH trade negotiators: Take Philippines out of RCEP!
Philippine civil society groups and social movements stand together to oppose RCEP
RCEP will undo the gains of food self-sufficiency built so assiduously over the decades
International trade negotiations currently underway hold a big threat to the future of Indian agriculture
India: Hawkers will fight RCEP until the end
RCEP would destroy a whole part of the Indian economy and livelihoods, in favour of international markets.
Why state governments must engage with RCEP
RCEP negotiations warrant a deeper engagement of state governments in India
Tell us who gains from RCEP: People’s Forum demands as RCEP talks end
“Tell us at least now who gains from RCEP,” People’s Forum challenges the Indian government as the 19th round of RCEP negotiations comes to an end
Zero duty to hit Indian dairy industry: Amul
‘15 cr. farmers will be impacted by FTA’