India is in a tight spot at the trade negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as Japan and China are pushing for either common tariff for all member countries in 10 years’ time or to make the initial tariff liberalization more ambitious.
India may face mounting pressure to increase its tariff liberalization proposal in the next round of negotiation in Auckland between 12-18 June.
In the last round in Perth in April, there was discussion on four papers on goods submitted by China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand on the level of ambition, said a government official speaking under condition of anonymity.
“Japan is saying as we progress, in 10 years’ time, there should not be any deviation and there should be common concessions. Other countries want to increase the ambition level but retain the principle of deviation. China is saying limited deviation should be allowed but with a 20-year phase-out period for 80-85% tariff liberalization. We are in a difficult position as our industry is not ready for any of this,” he added.