According to trade experts, India’s decision to not join the mega free-trade agreement RCEP will help protect the interests of the domestic industry against unfair competition. The RCEP, short for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, is a huge free-trade pact being negotiated among sixteen countries. The members were 10-nation bloc ASEAN, China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand.
Experts state that the government’s decision to not join this pact vindicates the concerns of the domestic industry from sectors such as metal and dairy.
“Certain engineering players and steel have raised serious objections over this pact. The RCEP would not have given any advantage to exporters to explore the Chinese market,” said Ralhan.
He said that participating in the pact would have resulted in an increase in imports from China, with which India has a trade deficit of over USD 50 billion.
The presence of China in the grouping has raised concerns as the Indian industry was of the view that it would flood the domestic market with Chinese goods. Several sectors like IT and pharma have time and again flagged issues with regard to trade barriers in entering the market of the neighboring country.
India has pitched for the auto-trigger mechanism in the RCEP agreement as a remedy against sudden and significant import surge from countries such as China to protect domestic players.