India urged to maintain local industry protection and be prepared to quit RCEP as bilateral talks continue

August 7, 2019: Amiti Sen writing in the Hindu Business Line argues that India had a clear mandate at the recent Bejing RCEP negotiations to refuse further concessions and say no to any pact which does not meet its needs. The Indian Commerce Minister met with local industry and farmers’ groups and sent a more junior official to the Bejing meeting to argue the case. Sen argues that demands from other RCEP governments were likely to increase India’s existing trade deficit with China, South Korea, Japan and some ASEAN countries.

In a separate report a government official said bilateral talks with RCEP governments were ongoing  but “it was made clear to all partners that India cannot be part of an agreement that would give its industry and farmers a raw deal. The discussions on what India wants from its partners and what it can give will continue,”