situation report

India, Asia-Pacific: Trade Officials to Meet and Discuss Proposed RCEP Deal

1 MIN READSep 13, 2019 | 16:12 GMT

What Happened: Trade officials from member countries of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will meet in India over the weekend to resolve differences and reach a self-imposed deadline to finalize the free trade pact by November, The Economic Times reported Sept. 13.

Why It Matters: Indian officials are considering the potential benefits of the RCEP and are seemingly pushing for a quick conclusion to RCEP negotiations despite concerns that the deal could stifle domestic manufacturing jobs. Participating countries have already agreed to remove a contentious dispute-settlement mechanism from the agreement in an attempt to address concerns from other nations and quickly finalize the partnership.

Background: The Indian government fears the RCEP could threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious "Make in India" campaign and further widen its $57 billion trade deficit with China.

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