Apparel Export Council wants skewed trade pacts with EU, UK and US reviewed

FTA with the US will have a significant impact on India’s apparel exports to the country
The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has requested the government to review India’s trade pacts with the EU, the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada. The Council said the country’s apparel exports can double in three years if disadvantages in the trade pacts are removed and positive sentiment is leveraged.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AEPC Chairman A Sakthivel said the industry has been very badly impacted in India’s principal export markets of the US, the UK and Europe.

“An important area that can supplement your efforts in this direction is improving export competitiveness through a comprehensive review of India’s trade agreements through a fast-tracked mechanism with the EU, the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada,” Sakthivel wrote in his letter to the Prime Minister.

He stated that, currently, India has a duty disadvantage of 9.6 per cent in the EU market compared to competitors like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Recently, Vietnam has also concluded a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU and most competitors are leveraging such FTAs in a big way to enhance their cost competitiveness, the letter said.

“There is an urgent need to have a level playing field in terms of market access and margin of preference in our biggest global market and to rectify the distortion that we are suffering,” the Council chairman said on FTA with the EU. He asked for a similar or even better FTA with the UK. 

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