India may get back at the negotiating table for RCEP
only if its demands—including extra safeguard mechanism to curb the irrational
spike in imports and tougher rules on the origin of imported products—are
adequately addressed, said Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Piyush Goyal, as
per a report.
The government has also initiated the process of renegotiating the pacts,
especially with ASEAN. When the ASEAN FTA was signed, India scrapped import
tariffs on 74 per cent of products but some others didn’t commit that much, the
India unwilling to budge on its demand
on an “auto-trigger” mechanism
India is unwilling to budge on its demand on an
“auto-trigger” mechanism for safeguarding the domestic industry from dumping,
despite pressure from partners. Also, it has been steadfast in demanding
credible steps to address India’s $ 105-billion trade deficit with RCEP
members, a more balanced deal on services, strict rules of origins of products
to check the abuse of tariff concessions and change in the base year to
implement the tariff abolition from 2014 to 2019. Moreover, India seems to want
its agriculture and dairy sector out of the RCEP negotiations, said the report.
Members of the grouping are prepared to
work together to address New Delhi’s concerns:China
Meanwhile, after India decided not to join the
China-backed RCEP deal, Chinese Vice-Commerce Minister and top trade negotiator
Mr Wang Shouwen played down the decision, saying the members of the grouping
are prepared to work together to address New Delhi’s concerns and that the
differences would be resolved soon.
He said that China and the 14 other member states respected India’s outstanding
concerns and they are prepared to work together to address them. “We must,
together with India, work hard to solve these problems. India must decide on
the basis of this resolution whether to enter into the agreement.” The current
member states would settle the few remaining questions around market access
before the end of the year, he added, as per the report.