India prepares for renegotiations and new trade negotiations with complementary markets with the united kingdom, US, and European Union, a think factory paper has recommended establishing a replacement body of experienced trade negotiators with a delegated trade representative within the ministry of commerce.
India’s trade discussions are done by bureaucrats from the commerce ministry either through permanent representation in Geneva at the WTO or through a need-based swift move of other civil servants from relevant ministries, Radhika Batra, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and vice chairman of corporate affairs, Americas for the Mahindra group, said during a report on India-US trade relations released by the thought factory.
Inadequate resources and skillset can cause a situation where officers work reactively rather than proactively on trade deals, she said underscoring that historically, India has been infamous for leading negotiations on behalf of emerging countries at WTO or at GATT.
It had been leading the developing nations throughout the Uruguay Round to resist the expansion of issues under trade services like agreements on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) and property rights TRIPs, or during the Cancun Round to counter agricultural and farm subsidies for developed nations, India managed to remain within the limelight with half a dozen bureaucrats voicing the view of the developing markets. There isn’t a scarcity of talent in India, but an attempt to mobilize a special unit of trade negotiators is required. A lateral movement of sector experts would usher in the required expertise, Batra said within the paper Looking Ahead: Strategies to enhance US-India Trade Negotiations, which is a component of the report Reimagining the US-India Trade Relationship.
Recruiting industry experts within the ministry may end in biases. an easy option would be to line up a body within the ministry of commerce that recruits fresh graduates and lawyers who aren’t yet related to any private-sector entity but have the specified qualifications for trade negotiations. If such a body is established, then what’s worth cloning from the USTR model is that the appointment of a delegated trade representative because the principal adviser to the commerce minister on national trading policy and on the impact of other Indian policies on international trade.
The designated trade negotiator also might be liable for coordinating national trading policy with other agencies, states, and industry representatives, and act because the principal international national trading policy spokesperson for the ministry of commerce, she wrote. By fixing a delegated trade representative and trade wing, the ministry of commerce would have the capacity purely dedicated to trading negotiations to figure actively toward new versions of deep trade agreements with tough negotiators.