5 ways how India stands to benefit from the US pulling out of TPP

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United States President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday said the US will quit the TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP) trade deal on his first day in the WHITE HOUSE. The mega trade deal involves 12 Pacific rim nations including major economies like Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. With a collective population of about 800 million, almost double that of the European Union’s single MARKET, the bloc currently accounts for 40 per cent of world trade. While the free trade deal will see tariffs slashed between member nations to boost falling trade, sections within the US has argued it will further accelerate the slide in American jobs and production. Guessing that Trump does not go back on his decision, something he is known to do, India stands to benefit in a plethora of ways if TPP does not materialise.


HERE ARE A FEW OF THEM:-

1) Access to lucrative US market to be cut for India’s export competitors:

2) The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal to come into focus:

3) Pressure to conform with TPP standards in ongoing trade negotiations to slide:

4) India’s concerns over trade diversions and othernon-tariff barriers to lessen:

5) Greater chance of bilateral boost to trade by India and US:


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Electric car charging station companies issue warning over VW settlement

Electric car charging station companies issue warning over VW settlement

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Electric vehicle charging companies are calling for independent oversight of the $2 billion Volkswagen AG

is required to invest in clean car infrastructure, saying VW should not have the power to shape the nascent electric car charging space.

The German automaker agreed to invest the money, which includes $1.2 billion nationally and $800 million in California, as part of its penalties for equipping hundreds of thousands of its diesel vehicles sold in the United States with software designed to cheat tailpipe emissions tests.

While charging station companies called the money a potential “game changer,” they worry that if it is misspent, it could hurt competition.

“The agreement shouldn’t pick winners and losers, especially given that this emerging market transition will in no small part define 21st century transportation,” twenty eight companies, including ChargePoint, EV Connect and Electric Vehicle Charging Association, said in a letter to the US Justice Department on Friday.

The letter, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, said an independent administrator is key to ensuring that the programme treats all industry participants, regardless of business model and technology, fairly.

VW did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read More

‘No to Trump, yes to Hillary’: Indian diaspora in the US tells New Delhi

‘No to Trump, yes to Hillary’: Indian diaspora in the US tells New Delhi

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), given its recent anti-immigrants election campaign in Assam and the perception that the Republican administrations have been friendlier towards India, should have found an alter ego in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. But the Indian diaspora in the United States, even its more prosperous sections, have conveyed to the BJP’s overseas arm that they were unlikely to support Trump in the US presidential elections due in November.

Overseas friends of BJP chief Vijay Chauthaiwale was in the US in the latter half of June. He travelled across the US to meet representatives of Indian diaspora associations. There are literally dozens of associations of each linguistic group. The Rockefeller Foundation — Aspen Institute Diaspora Programme (RAD) survey in July 2014 — had identified 224 important diaspora associations of Indian linguistic, regional and religious groups.

Chauthaiwale also had a meeting with Thomas Shannon, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Barack Obama administration. Shannon was on a four day visit to India in end-June and early July and met Indian political leaders, diplomats and academics.

The feedback, from talking to American politicians and Indian diaspora, was unanimous. That Donald Trump, despite the upswing in India-US relations during the Republic administration of George W Bush from 2000 to 2008, cannot be supported because of his anti-immigration stance and xenophobic statements.

In contrast, Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton is familiar with India and has visited the country several times. Former US President Bill Clinton met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the funeral of Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew. The Clintons had a 45-minute meeting with the PM during his maiden US visit in September 2014. India-US relations had improved during the second term of Bill Clinton, with him visiting India during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. Read More

VW emissions scandal: South Korea issues arrest warrant against company executive

VW emissions scandal: South Korea issues arrest warrant against company executive

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A South Korean court on Friday issued the first warrant for the arrest of a Volkswagen AG executive in connection with its cheating of vehicle emissions tests, in another blow to the German automaker’s efforts to move on from the scandal.

The warrant is the first to be levelled against a Volkswagen executive anywhere in the world after the firm in September admitted to using software to falsify pollution tests on some diesel cars, spurring legal action in the United States, Germany, South Korea and elsewhere.

“This is just the beginning of the investigation,” an official at the prosecution office said, declining to be named because the investigation was ongoing.

The Volkswagen Korea executive, identified by his last name Yun, faced five accusations including fabrication of documents and violation of the Air Quality Preservation Law, Seoul Central District Court spokesman Shin Jae-hwan said.

“The court acknowledges the reason and the necessity of the arrest,” he told Reuters, declining to give further details or name the executive.

A Volkswagen Korea spokeswoman declined to comment.

South Korea has taken a particularly hard line against the automaker, filing a criminal complaint against two other executives, fining it 14.1 billion won ($11.97 million) and ordering it to recall 125,522 vehicles.

About 4,400 Korean consumers also have filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen and sister marque Audi demanding compensation over the false emissions claims.

Sources in the United States on Thursday said Volkswagen would pay more than $10 billion to settle claims by nearly 500,000 owners and fund efforts to offset pollution.

The South Korean arrest warrant comes after German prosecutors on Monday said they were investigating former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and another executive over whether they effectively manipulated markets by delaying the release of information about the test cheating.

South Korean prosecutors would cooperate with their counterparts in Germany and the United States, the official said in Seoul.

The scandal has triggered a slide in Volkswagen’s share of Asia’s No.2 diesel car market, where it competes with dominant domestic players Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.

Volkswagen said in April it would set aside 16.2 billion euros ($18.2 billion) and slash its dividend to cover the costs from the scandal. Read More

Fires rage across western United States

Fires rage across western United States

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Firefighters have struggled to contain infernos across the western United Statesas experts warned that drought-striken California should prepare for an unusually intense wildfire season.

Forest fires are a fact of life in much of California but have become far worse because of bone-dry conditions, with the Golden State gripped in its fifth year of drought.

A fire in the Los Padres National Forest had expanded to two square miles (five square kilometers) yesterday, making it the “largest since 2009” in the area, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Information Center told AFP.

Strong winds were hampering efforts to contain the blaze, and the operation was expected to be hindered further by near-record temperatures over the weekend in the southern half of California.

Los Padres, which begins about two hours drive northwest of downtown Los Angeles, is popular with hikers and campers, and evacuation orders were issued in at-risk parts of the forest.

Sections of Highway 101, which links northern and southern California, were temporarily closed while oil giant ExxonMobil evacuated its refinery in Las Flores Canyon.

Another fire further north burned about four square miles and caused road closures, also threatening buildings, although there were no reports of injuries.

Lynne Tolmachoff, a spokeswoman for public information organisation Calfire, said America’s most populous state could see its worst fire season on record this year.

Meanwhile, a blaze in Warren Creek, in the northwestern state of Alaska, was raging across eight square miles of a Native American reserve, while four fires were burning up more than 40 square miles in Arizona and New Mexico. Read More