Content from the Brookings Institution India Center is now archived. After seven years of an impactful partnership, as of September 11, 2020, Brookings India is now the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, an independent public policy institution based in India.
Of particular interest could be, for instance, the good governance principles agreed under TPP, i.e. transparency of procedures and regulations, timely decision, processes to facilitate transactions, standards of review, and support to improve institutional capabilities. The TPP also establishes collaborative and consultative mechanisms amongst different countries, and identifies policies that are used to improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency of domestic production and trade. For regulatory regimes, the template includes provisions relating to the regime in general, as well as for certain specific product areas. Further, in view of the rapid evolution of international trade conditions, it would also be worthwhile to consider both the platform for discussion established by TPP, as well as the specific areas and mechanisms identified for its Committees to address emerging concerns and new issues.
India’s concern with trade negotiations is largely with respect to tariff negotiations. In the case of TPP, the large tariff decline agreed under the negotiations would be impossible for India to accept. In this context, it is interesting that the TPP agreement also provides examples of a number of flexibilities to protect domestic industries if required, subject to specified conditions. Further, the extent of flexibility could be augmented by considering the various types of solutions agreed under TPP, ranging from soft disciplines (such as guidelines or best-effort agreement), to much more legally binding disciplines underlying the large tariff reduction by member counties. These possibilities could be examined to provide possible models or starting point for seeking flexibilities that may lead to mutually acceptable solutions in trade negotiations for areas which otherwise would be a serious concern for India.