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Steel industry worried about inclusion in RCEP

Industry stalwarts cautioned the government about inclusion of steel in Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This will harm the local steel industry by opening floodgates to cheaper Chinese imports. Moreover, no other country generates as much demand as India, reducing the scope for steel exporters. Further, finished Indian steel goods are less competitive compared to Chinese goods due to high embedded costs like logistics and infrastructure.

Keeping all these factors in mind, the government is reviewing its FTA with Asean. “We sincerely hope the proposed review of India-Asean FTA would help in addressing the growing asymmetry in bilateral trade in goods between the two regions, ensure less violation of Rules of Origin (RoO) and enable better utilisation of the FTA by the Indian Industry,” stated TV Narendran, MD at Tata Steel.