Conclusion of TPP with the major countries like USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Chile, Australia etc., shows the changing patterns of global trade based on multilateral agreements. It accounts for nearly 40% of the global GDP comprising major powerhouses of the world.
Reasons for opposing TPP: 1) TPP includes obligations on 'new issues' such as labour, investment, environment, e-commerce, competition and government procurement. All these are the favourable steps for developed countries mitigating the interests of the developing countries. 2) TPP will lead to proliferation of private standards which are heavily tilted towards the interests of developed countries. 3) Strict implementation of intellectual property regime that is being practiced in advanced countries. This will obstruct the exemptions given to developing countries in TRIPS agreement, and thus, their economies. 4) Clauses like 'Rule of Origin' seriously obstructs the trade among the members and non-members of the TPP. 5) It is being criticised for building alternative global trade regime bypassing WTO regulations and threatening its relevance as a whole. 6) Unilateral ideation and declaration and lack of transparency in functioning. 7) Strict domain of USA creates loss of flexibility and decision making of developing countries.
India's stance: 1) What if India does not join TPP: > India might witness diversions in trade and foreign investments and decline in the outsourcing services from India. > The rules like 'Yarn forward rule' and 'Rule of Origin' rules our inclusion of any other countries outside that of the trade agreement for availing duty preference, which in turn makes India in-competitive. > Hurt market access benefit and have an adverse impact on other products such as processed food, heavy manufacturing, crops, sugar, vegetables, fruits etc. > Companies might be interested in reaping benefits of an open and inviting market of TPP member countries.
2) What if India joins TPP > Chances of India experiencing export gains, but in the longer run. > Countries with which India has signed FTA's may not suffer trade disadvantage. > India's output may also increase lending the employment generating sectors like textile, leather, fish, dairy etc. > Mandate of high global standards of TPP makes Indian companies to adopt new technologies and makes them efficient and reduce carbon footprint in the economy. > However, suffers from ever-greening of patents and delay the entry of generic medicines.
3) Safeguards for India > Concluding bilateral agreements and multilateral agreements like Broad Based Trade and Investment with EU, RCEP, SAFTA etc. > High degree of preparedness and smart coalition-building with like-minded allies to bring violations of TPPs trade practices against WTO regulations to the the dispute settlement mechanism. > Identifying trade interest areas and propose alternative negotiating templates like bio-piracy, protection of traditional knowledge as per TRIPS and CBD etc.
Whatsoever, the time has ripen for India to enhance its capabilities by way of infrastructural development and cost effectiveness of India's products to make them competitive in the global markets.