Efforts are underway to forge a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union for which negotiations have commenced this year. It is proposed to be an ambitious free trade and investment agreement, whose focus will not only be towards achieving deeper liberalisation of their trade and investment regimes, but also towards bringing about greater convergence, if not harmonization or mutual recognition, of standards and regulations across all products and services sectors. With both economies having a significant share in the world GDP and world trade, the two trade majors are also hoping that some of the WTO plus disciplines that they can agree on, including in areas like competition policy, raw materials and energy and state owned enterprises, could provide a basis for future multilateralisation. If the two parties are able to conclude such an agreement, it could have a profound impact on world trade as a whole, not only on the bilateral trade and investment relations between the two parties. India could also be affected as a result. Developments in this regard will need to be carefully monitored and a suitable strategy devised. The paper briefly dwells on several of these aspects.
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