India will wait before joining IPEF trade track: Piyush Goyal

“We are in the process of firming up our own digital framework and laws, especially around privacy and data. Therefore, India, while continuing to move down the IPEF trade path, will wait for the final outlines to be decided before formal association,” Piyush Goyal, the Union’s trade and industry minister, said on Saturday.

“In the meantime, our officials will engage in discussions with an open mind and in the best interests of the Indian people and businesses in India,” Goyal said at a press conference on Saturday after the conclusion of the IPEC ministerial meeting. .

Speaking about India not joining the trade pillar, one of the four pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), Goyal said there are some areas where a broader consensus has yet to emerge.

“India has engaged very comprehensively in the different streams of discussion on 3 of the 4 pillars related to supply chains, taxation and anti-corruption, and clean energy. which deals with trade, the outlines of the framework on the required commitments on the environment, labour, digital trade and public procurement are some areas where a broader consensus has yet to emerge,” he added.

Goyal said countries that believe in fair trade have come together to work towards a long-term commitment to an open Indo-Pacific region.

“Fruitful discussions have taken place over the past four days to bring together a group of like-minded countries with common interests. These fair trade principles will help our economies, create jobs and bring prosperity to our people,” added the Union Minister.

He congratulated Secretary of Commerce Gina M Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai for making IPEC a success.

“They were very supportive of India throughout the talks and negotiations,” Goyal said.

“I commend all member countries for defining the outline of the framework and future commitments in such a short time. This is something of a record. Such rapidity in multilateral commitments reflects the commitment of the whole of the 14 countries.”

“This group of 14 countries will set the rules for trade between countries that believe in fair play and transparent, rules-based trade in the future,” he added.

Earlier today, at the framework’s first in-person ministerial summit in Los Angeles, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai confirmed that India would not join the Trade Pillar, one of the four pillars of the economic framework. Indo-Pacific (IPEF).

“India is not now in the trade pillar of IPEF, Union Trade Minister Piyush Goyal and I have talked a lot. We have our bilateral structure, the Trade Policy Forum, which should be meet again by the end of this year and we covered the same issues in this bilateral channel and this minister, we are very close,” Tai said.

A senior official said India stands for its independent trade policy and added that before joining the trade pillar of IPEF, New Delhi will observe the pros and cons of binding commitments.

“There are binding commitments that have been established by the United States and India is cautious,” the official said. “India is standing tall, we have our own independent policy,” the official said.

Union Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday that a strong Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is proposed to be tabled in Parliament soon, and India will take its decisions on different aspects according to the national interest.

Goyal said India is a big provider of technology services to US companies and a strong framework is proposed to be presented to parliament soon. “India seeks to have contemporary and modern laws in the digital world while maintaining high levels of data privacy,” he added.

He said that under the framework, “we can start engaging among member countries in different areas of mutual interest. India will make its decisions on different aspects of the IPEF framework based on our national interest.”

“We have had useful engagement among the member countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. Officials have been working to set the stage for useful interactions among ministers. By tomorrow, we hope to create a solid framework,” Goyal said.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal is on a six-day visit to San Francisco and Los Angeles to attend the first Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) ministerial meeting. Goyal met with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai before the meeting.

“I also had the opportunity to have bilateral discussions with USTR Ambassador Tai and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Both were very enthusiastic about the good work that is going on between India and the United States,” Goyal said.

“They were extremely supportive of expanding trade ties and investments, including in high-tech areas. They were also keen to build resilient supply chains between India and the United States,” he said. -he adds.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was jointly launched by the United States and other partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region on May 23, 2022 in Tokyo.

India joined IPEF and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the launch event along with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and other leaders from partner countries. Previously, virtual ministerial meetings were held immediately after the launch on May 23 and thereafter from July 26-27, 2022.

India is committed to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region and would strive to deepen economic cooperation among partners for growth and prosperity in the region. The framework is inclusive and allows partner countries to join pillars according to their respective priorities, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.

The IPEF, a group of 13 countries, is a multilateral economic framework. India is seen lately as focusing on bilateral free trade agreements rather than multilateral ones.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Andrew B. Reiter