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The global use of protectionist measures in 2018 was unprecedented: Commerce Minister

While releasing a study by the Department of Commerce on India-China Trade, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu said that protectionist policies have gained ground globally, particularly with the trade war between two of the largest economies of the world.

The report tries to examine the rising trade deficit with China to find possible reasons for it. Pointing out the unique nature of the bilateral relationship between India and China, the Commerce Minister said China has become India’s biggest trading partner in a span of fifteen years from being a small trading partner of India in 2001.

While releasing the study, he referred to the rise of global protectionist policies and he said, “The global use of protectionist measures in 2018 was unprecedented with the trade wars looming between two of the largest economies of the world.”

Underscoring the idea behind this exercise, he said it is to identify whether tariff concessions by China to other countries impede raising the share of India’s exports in the Chinese market. These lines can be taken up by India for negotiations with China under agreements like Asia Pacific Free Trade Agreement (APTA) in which both India and China are involved during the review exercise.

  The Minister spoke about the eight sections of the study and he also said, “The study also underlines the opportunity available for India in increasing its services exports to China. Indices like Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) and Trade Complementarity Index (TCI) have been used to analyse the extent of India and China’s competiveness in this arena and the potential for the future.

            There is a separate section on the opportunities arising for India out of US - China trade standoff with a detailed analysis of specific tariff lines on which tariffs have been levied by China on the US amidst the ongoing trade war and the potential for India to fill in the gaps left by America in the Chinese market.”   

  

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