Indian producers seek to keep steel and aluminum out of tariff reduction commitments at RCEP talks

Thursday, 23 May 2019 11:32:51 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

Indian steel and aluminum producers have applied to India’s Ministry of Commerce requesting that steel and aluminum be kept out of any tariff reduction commitment during the official-level talks of Regional Economic Co-operation Partnership (RCEP) getting underway on May 24, a senior government official said on Thursday, May 23.

The official said that the Ministry of Steel has also backed domestic steel producers’ plea that Indian officials do not include steel in tariff reduction commitments during the RCEP negotiations in Bangkok, which are expected to lay down a roadmap for a formal RCEP pact.

The India steel industry has claimed that investments to tune of $4.28 billion would be put at risk if India was to lower tariffs on steel products, the official said.

The RCEP, comprising the 10 countries of the ASEAN region, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India are aiming to conclude a free trade pact in the current year and reduce tariffs on 90 percent of goods traded between these countries.

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