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JSL opposes inclusion of stainless steel in RCEP pact


Devdiscourse News Desk new delhi India
Updated: 13-11-2018 17:23 IST
JSL opposes inclusion of stainless steel in RCEP pact

(Image Credit: JSL)

Jindal Stainless Ltd (JSL) Tuesday opposed the inclusion of stainless steel flat products in the proposed RCEP agreement among 16 countries, including China.

ASEAN countries and their six trade partners such as India, China and Australia are negotiating a mega-trade deal named as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

In a statement, JSL Managing Director Abhyuday Jindal said, "This has reference to the Inter-Ministerial Meet to be held in Singapore...reportedly for drawing substantial conclusions to the RCEP agreement between 16 countries, including China.

"This is a grave concern for the domestic stainless steel industry. As largest stainless steel maker and the leading voice in the industry, we strongly oppose the inclusion of stainless steel flat products in the RCEP agreement."

The statement has come a day ahead of the second RCEP Leaders Summit in Singapore on Wednesday.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu is leading a delegation for the meeting of trade ministers of RCEP member countries.

The move will open floodgates of Chinese imports into India through zero duty access, Jindal warned.

"This will make operations for domestic producers non-viable, thereby resulting in long-term losses. This may result in immediate shut down of small-scale units and will simultaneously cascade into the organised sector," he pointed.

Jindal further said that investments made by domestic industry in a capacity building worth Rs 35,000 crore would stand in jeopardy.

"Once operational, RCEP will turn India into a nation of traders alone. It will become a dumping ground for all goods through this 'Open Door Policy' approach by the government, thereby destroying the manufacturing sector in India, resulting in losses of jobs and investor confidence," Jindal warned.

India already has a free trade agreement with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan and South Korea and it is negotiating similar pacts with Australia and New Zealand.

India is pushing for liberalising norms to promote services trade as the sector accounts for about 55 per cent of India's GDP. India is looking for a balanced trade agreement as it would cover 40 per cent of the global GDP and over 42 per cent of the world's population.

"Though the FTAs were envisaged to promote trade between the two countries, much of the trading post-FTA has been one-sided and India has a substantial trade deficit with both Korea and Japan. There is enough data to suggest that all these countries are riddled with excess capacity and have excess production. They have also been held guilty of repetitive dumping behaviour," Jindal said.

The government must review its stand on including stainless steel products in RCEP, he added.

(With inputs from agencies.)

COUNTRY : India

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