Mumbai: India on Monday decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal, holding that it did not receive any “credible assurance on market access and non-tariff barriers”.
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said country will open further discussion if there are demands made.
While reporting to media Goyal said that “If all our demands are met and our trade deficit is balanced, we will open to further discussions. But for now, staying out of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the final decision.”
The main reason behind the disagreement to joint RCEP was inadequate protection against import surges, insufficient differential with China, possible circumvention of rules of origin, keeping the base year as 2014 and no credible assurances on market access and non-tariff barriers. The dairy sector was also opposed to the deal as it feared cheaper imports of skimmed milk powder from New Zealand would harm marginal dairy farmers in India.
Narendra Modi also made an announcement during his speech that, “It also does not address satisfactorily India’s outstanding issues and concerns. In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join the RCEP agreement.”
Goyal also said that the country will not open the gate for Chinese to flood Indian markets. He also said that the country appreciates that the way the world is rapidly globalizing and inter-dependencies are being created but to stay outside is not beneficiary to the country’s economy.