ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Trade Wars of the United States

Providing a structural context to the trade imbalances of the United States, which has stirred President Donald Trump into authorising a series of potentially catastrophic retaliatory actions, this article describes the bare bones of US’s actions and the likely impact on the global economy and institutions like the World Trade Organization.

Reality of US Farm Subsidies

With the formation of the World Trade Organization in 1995, the United States farm subsidies had moved towards income support, reducing spending on price support measures. The explicit reason was that the WTO had held that the latter forms were more market distorting and had thus put limits on their spending. The new Farm Act 2014 has changed the orientation of farm spending in the opposite direction. Pricebased measures are back in focus, and the US seems less concerned about breaching its WTO limits.

Yuan Devaluation and Its Impact

The warning signals have been there for some time--China's merchandise trade has been contracting and its economy has been slowing. Now the yuan has been devalued by 1.9%. What will be the outcome, especially for India?

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

The full implications of the establishment of the United States-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement need to be considered carefully by the global community. The proposed agreement could act as a trigger for the setting of a "new normal" in economic integration between countries, whose terms would be significantly tougher as compared to those existing under the multilaterally negotiated rules of the World Trade Organization.

India's New Foreign Trade Policy

Despite some steps in the right direction, the new policy has several limitations. This article makes a case for looking at them anew.

India's Current Account Deficit

India's current account deficit has widened in recent years primarily because of the steep increase in the deficit on the merchandise trade account. While imports have grown with the surge in gold imports, export performance has been indifferent despite the fact that India has formalised several free trade agreements. Policymakers will have to move away from a reliance on ad hoc solutions and find ways to address the infi rmities in the domestic economy.

India's Bilateral Investment Agreements

This paper highlights some of the provisions in India's Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements that have enabled foreign investors to win cases before international arbitration tribunals. Warning that these disputes with foreign investors signal the emerging struggle between foreign investors and sovereign states in the face of uncertain economic prospects in the post-crisis world, the paper makes a strong case for a review of India's BIPAs so that there is consistency in provisions across all such agreements in the national interest.

Vaulting over India's Retail FDI Policy Wall

Multi-brand retail was opened to foreign participation in September 2012, but even earlier some Indian and foreign companies had used a maze of relationships between themselves and their subsidiaries to bypass the restrictions. An analysis of the Bharti-Walmart venture.

Foreign Direct Investment Caps in India and Corporate Control Mechanisms

While India has generally been following an open door policy in foreign direct investment, a few areas are still subject to caps on fdi. The need to retain a degree of control over the operations of the investee companies in Indian hands is one of the justifications for the caps. In early 2010, the government specified the methodology for calculating indirect foreign equity in order to remove ambiguities in calculating the extent of fdi in a company. This paper argues that the percentage of shares or proportion of directors on the board does not necessarily represent the extent of control and therefore more direct intervention would be required if the policy objectives are to be achieved.

Economic Development and Patenting Behaviour

The capacity of countries to take advantage of the patent system bears a relationship with their stage of development. This paper explores the relationship between economic development and domestic and foreign patenting behaviour. The study uses a unique data set covering 55 countries and 24 years. It determines the association of domestic patenting with gross domestic product per capita and openness to trade, and the association of foreign patenting with these variables and with foreign direct investment as a proportion of gdp.

Agricultural Trade and Protection

Various perspectives on the liberalisation of trade in agriculture have come forward after the Uruguay round of negotiations at the World Trade Organisation. This article critiques the rationale for liberalising agricultural trade in the light of recent literature in trade theory. It also explores the need for "strategic" interventions by developing countries and deals with how these mediations differ from protectionist policies.

Data Exclusivity in Pharmaceuticals: Little Basis, False Claims

Article 39.3 of the World Trade Organisation's agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights stipulates that undisclosed pharmaceutical test data should remain undisclosed in order to prevent its unfair commercial use. Explaining the historical context and the textual interpretation of Article 39.3, this paper examines whether such data exclusivity is justified. While the pursuit of data exclusivity may be viable for the pharmaceutical industry in the US and EU, the situation is altogether different for developing countries such as India, where pursuing data exclusivity could prove to be detrimental to its pharmaceutical industry.

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