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India to seek review of trade pact with Japan: Goyal

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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 8: India will seek review of its free trade agreement with Japan during a meeting between Commerce and Industry minister Piyush Goyal and his Japanese counterpart in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Nishimura Yasutoshi is the Japanese minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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In such reviews, normally two countries seek more market access for their respective domestic products and resolve issues which are hindering trade.

“I think that’s quite long overdue and I am going to raise that issue with my counterpart from Japan. He has just taken over some time back as a new minister. So I will be taking up that issue,” Goyal told reporters here when asked if a review of the free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan is on the cards.

India and Japan had implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in August 2011.

The review assumes significance as domestic steel producers have time and again complained of surge in imports of steel products like hot-rolled steel and other variants from Japan.

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On trade with Australia, Goyal said the Australian parliament is expected to approve the trade pact by the end of this year.

Australia’s new Trade minister Don Farrell is visiting India later this month to discuss trade and other issues.

“He has assured me that they are very pleased with the outcome of the Indo-Australia negotiations and the free trade agreement that we finalised, and that they (Australia) will be putting it through parliament soon. And I am told the tentative timelines… end of this year, it will be cleared through their parliament,” he said.

The pact was signed in April.  When asked about the issues which could come up in his meeting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, he said there are no immediate areas of concern between the US and India.

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“We have very good and strong business relations. They are our largest trading partner. We do a lot of work for American companies. There’s a lot of investment flow from America to India. So broadly, we keep exchanging notes on different issues, international trade. It (the meeting) is just a follow up on that. There’s no immediate agenda,” Goyal said. (PTI)

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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