NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has decided not to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership due to differences over tariffs, its trade deficit with other countries and non-tariff related barriers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted as saying on Monday.
“Present form of the RCEP Agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and agreed guiding principles of RCEP,” Modi was quoted saying by Indian public broadcaster Prasar Bharati News Services in a tweet. “It does not address satisfactorily India’s outstanding issues and concerns.”
“It is not possible for India to join the #RCEP Agreement,” the broadcaster further quoted Modi as saying in the tweet.
The 15 Asia Pacific countries concluded negotiations for the mega regional trade pact on Monday without India, the ASEAN countries said in a statement.
India has been worried that the agreement, which requires the gradual elimination of tariffs, will open up the country’s domestic markets to a flood of cheap Chinese goods and agricultural produce from Australia and New Zealand that will harm local producers.
Reporting by Neha Dasgupta and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Catherine Evans