Industry body Indian Texpreneurs Federation has warned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will have serious implications for India's textile sector, including garment exports to the US, and has urged the government to take a closer look at the threat.
In a letter to the Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, ITF Secretary Prabhu Damodharan pointed out that exporters from TPP member countries will get preferential access to the US market while non-members like India will lose out, especially for garment exports.
He pointed out that the US imported garments $3.7 billion from India out of a total import of $82 billion in 2015. In percentage terms, the export figure was 21.5 per cent of Indian total apparel exports, down from 23 per cent in 2014.
Damodharan said that the share of India's apparel export could fall substantially if duty structure turns disadvantageous.
The ITF secretary also said that the Yarn Forward Rule (YFR) which makes it mandatory for TPP members to source yarn, fabrics and other inputs used in making clothes from TPP partner countries only to avail of duty preference will induce garment manufacturers in TPP countries to source their raw material from them at the cost of non-TPP countries like India.
Damodharan also pointed out that India's fabrics and apparel exports could take a big hit as both direct and indirect exports via Vietnam to TPP countries like the US will fall since buyers would like to procure from TPP-based vendors.
The TPP is the world's largest world's largest trade bloc. The 12 member countries signed the TPP agreement in February 2016.