“During the 3rd RCEP Leaders Summit which was held on November 4 in Bangkok, India stated that the current structure of the RCEP did not reflect its Guiding Principles or address the outstanding issues and concerns of India, in the light of which India did not join RCEP,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lower House.
The RCEP bloc comprised 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
He said that RCEP had provisions on trade remedies which also covers anti-dumping rules.
“Moreover, India was seeking an automatic trigger safeguard mechanism (ATSM) for tackling import surges,” he added.
To a separate question on the RCEP, the minister replied that the government held regular stakeholders’ consultations with and received inputs from the domestic industry, exporters, trade experts, concerned ministries/departments and state governments.
“These inputs have been taken into consideration while formulating India’s position in the RCEP negotiations, with a view to achieving balanced outcomes, balancing ambitions with addressing domestic sensitivities,” he said.