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PM takes stock of RCEP trade pact amid concerns
Oct 09, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took stock of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement whose negotiations are in the final stages.
Officials said India is likely to remain in the pact but with some safeguards and caveats in order to protect its interests.
These carve outs could pertain to future domestic policy concessions in investment and services sectors (called ‘ratchet’ in trade parlance) along with such concessions given to a trading partner under a bilateral treaty automatically getting extended to RCEP members.
While there was no briefing or statement after the meeting which lasted more than four hours, it was a crucial discussion with key economic ministries amid various ministries and industries including textiles and dairy opposing the pact due to China’s presence in it. Excluding dairy imports from the pact, protecting sensitive sectors from Chinese imports and investment are the key areas of concern.