TPP a double edged sword for india: we will end up being forced to join it, but it will cause us serious problems with IPR among other things.
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From: S G
From: S G
http://www.financialexpress.com/article/fe-columnist/tpp-and-india-lasting-lessons/148244/Amitendu Palit | October 9, 2015 12:17 AM
The trade accord might pose for India its biggest challenge for convergence in foreign and trade policies
The conclusion of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) negotiations in Atlanta earlier this week brought down curtains on the most intense regional trade negotiations in modern history. Having gone on for more than five years—the first round of negotiations were held in Melbourne in March 2010—and almost two full terms of the Obama presidency, the TPP talks survived anxieties, scepticism and doubts to eventually reach consensus.
There is still some ground to cover. The deal needs to be sanctioned by individual country legislatures. Some TPP members like the US, Australia, Canada, and Japan might find selling it to domestic constituencies a tough task. An ambitious and controversial deal like the TPP can hardly please all. Different constituencies will be happy, or unhappy, depending on what the TPP fetches, or snatches. Lobbies in legislatures will be accordingly aligned for or against. Much will depend on how the heads of states of TPP member nations 'package' the deal to their legislatures. If they are able to highlight pieces that can appeal to constituencies opposed to the deal, some of the opposition will be moderated. Having come this far though, it would be very surprising if the deal isn't passed by individual country legislatures as the leaders would have already had consultations with domestic stakeholders.
Till the text of the TPP is available in the public domain, it is not possible to figure out how far it has gone in becoming a 21st century 'gold standard' trade deal by providing comprehensive market-access removing trade and non-trade barriers. Given the stark difference among negotiating parties on various issues—intellectual property, government procurement, rules of origin, investor-state disputes and even tariffs—compromises were inevitable. To that extent, some aspects of the agreement should be 'watered down' editions of original aspirations. Nonetheless, the TPP marks a significant advance in modern trade given the far-reaching impact it would have on trade governance.
The TPP's economic and strategic implications would extend to India notwithstanding its distance from the TPP. There are implications for Indian exports to TPP members from the greater preferential access they will now have to compete with vis-à-vis exports from one TPP member to another. There are also long-term challenges of adapting to stronger quality standards implemented by TPP members that might become generic across these markets. These apart, the TPP, or more precisely the story of its conclusion despite numerous odds and hiccups has important policy lessons for India.