India’s Free Trade Agreements



Issue: Mar-Apr 2021

This paper reviews India’s experience with the free trade agreements (FTAs) that it signed over the last two decades. The trade outcomes under the agreements are found to be quite modest: The trade shares of India’s FTA partners stayed nearly constant over the past decade, and trade deficits with FTA partners, as a share of the overall deficit,  did not increase over time. These findings challenge the assertion that India’s trade agreements have led to a widening of trade deficits and that they were responsible for the stagnation of the Indian manufacturing sector.



Free Trade Agreements, Trade Deficits, GATT-WTO, Domestic Manufacturing

Author Bio

Pravin Krishna, Johns Hopkins University

Pravin Krishna is the Chung Ju Yung Distinguished Professor of International Economics and Business at Johns Hopkins University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).