Shri. Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry said that India has decided to conduct a meeting through video conference with other members of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

“We have put forward certain proposals. If there is any surge in import of any product, we can take quick remedial measures and the interest of domestic industry is protected,” he said.

This proposal assumes significance as India has registered trade deficit in 2018-19 with as many as 11 RCEP member countries, including China, South Korea and Australia, out of a grouping of 16 nations that are negotiating the mega trade pact since November 2012 and which is expected to conclude by November. Differences between the two countries surfaced last year when the US levied additional tariffs of 25% and 10% on the import of steel and aluminium products, respectively. India responded by slapping retaliatory tariffs on 28 products originating or exported from the US with effect from June 16, for which Washington dragged it to dispute at WTO.

Bilateral talks collapsed after the US withdrew incentives to $6.3 billion of Indian exports under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme effective June 5.

India has sought exemption from the high duty on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to some domestic goods under GSP as well as greater market access for its products from sectors like agriculture, automobile, auto-components and engineering.