Piyush Goyal Counters Sonia: India Joined RCEP Negotiations In UPA Era


Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday countered Congress President Sonia Gandhi's remarks on the proposed RCEP pact

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:
Sonia Gandhi

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday countered Congress President Sonia Gandhi's remarks on the proposed mega free trade agreement RCEP, saying it was during the UPA regime when India joined negotiations for this pact.  In a series of tweets, the minister said that Sonia Gandhi has suddenly woken up to RCEP and FTAs. He asked where she was when FTA with ASEAN was signed in 2010 and when FTA was signed between 2010-2011 with South Korea, Malaysia and Japan. He questioned her about UPA government's decision to open 74% of its market to ASEAN countries when richer countries like Indonesia opened only 50% for India, 

Read Piyush Goyal's tweets below:

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Gandhi on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the government on the state of economy, saying signing the RCEP agreement will result in "untold hardship" for farmers, shopkeepers and small enterprises. "As economic decisions have not damaged the economy enough, it is now ready to deal a body blow to it by signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) - the regional free trade agreement of 16 Asian countries," Gandhi said. Continuing his attack on Gandhi, Goyal tweeted, "So where was she - When trade deficit with RCEP nations increased from $7 Billion in 2004 to $78 Billion in 2014? When her Govt forced India to join RCEP negotiations with China in 2011-12." On Prime Minister expressing commitment "to a comprehensive and balanced outcome" from RCEP negotiations, the minister said, PM @narendramodi ji has highlighted that RCEP must be a win-win We too would like a win-win outcome. We believe that for this, addressing our concerns over unsustainable trade deficits is important.

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RCEP is a trade pact being negotiated amongst 16 countries. Talks are going in Bangkok to iron out differences. The commerce minister was also there for the meeting of RCEP trade ministers. The trade ministers meeting is precursor to the RCEP leaders' summit, scheduled on November 4 in Bangkok, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The exchange of words on the agreement came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Bangkok to attend the RCEP Summit. 

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(With PTI inputs)

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