TPP and RCEP in relation to India

TPP and RCEP in relation to India

Question: Two strategic economic agreements are being negotiated by trading giants of the world currently. Discuss the TPP and RCEP in relation to India.

Two trade agreements have a strategic subtext namely RCEP and TPP

TPP - Trans Pacific Partnership

RCEP - Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

- The strategic agreements are being negotiated by world trading giants and will determine the global balance of economic power for coming years

- TPP and RCEP are both FTAs designed to lower tariff and non tariff carried to trade between countries that carry out major trade

- Both agreements cover the crucial issue of IPR

- TPP seeks a new agenda for global trade beyond existing obligations under WTO and agreement in TRIPS

- IPR protection, especially in cyberspace is an issue which remains a grey area for this agreement

- RCEP has seen some progress

- Both agreements show a competing political dynamic

- TPP is part of the US led Asia Pivot

- RCEP on the other hand involves Beijing as a key player

- China is even setting aside South China Sea issues for economic interests and RCEP could well symbolise the shift of power from the US to China

- Implications for India’s Act East Policy

- These FTAs have been discussed on economic dimensions and not strategic

- India has said it will not budge from minimum required for TRIPS compliance

- Indian government needs to articulate a strategic vision for Asia Pacific that combines polity and economy interests

- Multi alignment has become the need of the day

- IPR protection in cyberspace is a major source of contention in TPP and RCEP

- Creative diplomacy is needed whereby a balanced regional benefit model would yield rich dividends for India

- India needs to balance its approach to the US(TPP) and China (RCEP) while restructuring its IPR regime

Facts and Stats

- TPP negotiations are being led by US and 11 other Pacific Ocean nations

7 of these countries are also party to RCEP negotiations:

- Australia

- Brunei

- Japan

- Malaysia

- New Zealand

- Singapore

- Vietnam

- RCEP comprises ASEAN Nations and six others including New Zealand and Australia
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