India will wait & watch US move on TPP, says Commerce Minister

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 24, 2017

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Secretary Rita Teaotia during CII conference on services in New Delhi on Tuesday   -  Ramesh Sharma

May impact trade pacts being negotiated by New Delhi, say officials

India will watch how things pan out following US President Donald Trump’s decision to get out of the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with eleven other Pacific-rim countries, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, as it was never a part of the pact, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.

“What the new US administration is doing is probably what they had said they would do during the election campaign. We can only watch as we are not part of the TPP,” Sitharaman replied when asked by the media to comment on the development on the sidelines of a CII event to promote services trade.

While the US decision to exit TPP may not directly affect India, it could have ramifications on trade pacts being negotiated by the country such as the RCEP deal with the 10-member ASEAN and five others, including China and bilateral pacts with Australia and New Zealand, a Commerce Department official told BusinessLine.

“We will have to see how the negotiating strategies of other countries change because of the US walking out of the TPP. Our reactions have to be carefully measured,” the official said.

The Minister also said that India was working on a formal proposal on a pact on Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) and hoped to submit it at the World Trade Organisation before the next Trade Ministers’ meeting in Buenos Aires in December.

Services exhibition

Speaking at a curtain raiser for the Global Exhibition on Services scheduled in April, Sitharaman said the manpower advantage that India had would help scale up the sector.

As many as 400 buyers from 70 countries are expected to participate in the four-day event beginning April 19.

There would be around 600 delegates represent 20 services sectors. The three new areas being added are retail and e-commerce, sports services and Railway services.

Published on January 24, 2017
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