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Trade Blocs: International Relations | Indian Economy for UPSC CSE

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries signed on 4 February 2016. The 12 nations include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

 The aim is to ease the flow of goods, services and investments among them, and to strengthen the rules on labour standards, environmental issues, origin criteria and intellectual property.

 The TPP, a deal which will cover 40 percent of the world economy.

 The mega trade deal, perceived to be a counterweight to China’s growing global economic clout.

Impact on India

 India is not part of the TPP. The World Bank projects a limited ‘trade diversion’ impact on non-members.

 India could suffer market share losses in certain categories of exports as a result of preference erosion

 The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is likely to indirectly impact India’s exports in several industrial sectors such as textiles, plastics, leather, clothing, cotton and yarn.

 Some of the TPP standards are higher than that of the WTO norms, including on IPR and possible ever-greening of patents, which could hurt India’s pharma sector.

 The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega trade deal which aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.

 The 16-member bloc RCEP comprises 10 Asean members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six free trade agreement partners -- India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

From India’s point of view, the RCEP presents a decisive platform which could influence its strategic and economic status in the Asia-Pacific region and bring to fruition its “Act East Policy.”

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. The aim is to boost the economies of the EU and the US by removing or reducing barriers to trade and foreign investment.

 The American government considers the TTIP a companion agreement to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

 The agreement is under ongoing negotiations and its main three broad areas are: market access; specific regulation; and broader rules and principles and modes of co-operation.

D.4. WTO
 India has ratified the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The pact aims to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit, for international trade.

 India is pitching aggressively for TFA in services to the WTO. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) agreement covers four modes of supply for the delivery of services in cross-border trade:




Supplier Presence 

Mode 1: Cross-border supply

Service delivered within the territory of the Member, from the territory of another Member

Service supplier not present within the territory of the member

Mode 2: Consumption abroad

Service delivered outside the territory of the Member, in the territory of another Member, to a service consumer of the Member

Mode 3: Commercial presence

Service delivered within the territory of the Member, through the commercial presence of the supplier

Service supplier present within the territory of the Member

Mode 4: Presence of a natural person

Service delivered within the territory of the Member, with supplier present as a natural person


WTO Members Seal IT Trade Deal
 World Trade Organization (WTO) members finalised a deal to cut tariffs on $1 trillion worth of information technology products in a boost for producers of goods ranging from video games to medical equipment.

 The agreement to update the WTO's 18-year-old Information Technology Agreement (ITA) adds more than 200 products to the list of goods covered by zero-tariff and duty-free trade.

 This agreement is expansion of ITA 1996.

 In this agreement import tariffs of most of the 201 IT products will be eliminated either immediately or progressively over 3 years.


 Ministerial Conferences


9–13 December 1996



18–20 May 1998

Geneva, Switzerland


30 November – 3 December 1999

Seattle, United States


9–14 November 2001 

Doha, Qatar 


10–14 September 2003

Cancún, Mexico


13–18 December 2005

Hong Kong


30 November – 2 December 2009

Geneva, Switzerland


15–17 December 2011

Geneva, Switzerland


3–6 December 2013

Bali, Indonesia


15–18 December 2015 

Nairobi, Kenya 

 Afghanistan has become the 164th WTO member 

The document Trade Blocs: International Relations | Indian Economy for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course Indian Economy for UPSC CSE.
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