No Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Without the US’ Participation, Says Malaysian Minister

Should the US withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, it will effectively mean that the agreement cannot enter into force, according to Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry.

“As I have mentioned before, the agreement requires ratification of at least 6 countries, accounting for 85% of the total GDP of the 12 countries, to bring it into force. The US’ GDP alone constitutes about 60% of the total TPP Members’ GDP. Hence, there will be no TPPA without the US’ participation,” says Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed.

If the US decides that they will not ratify the TPPA, Malaysia will discuss with the other members on the next course of action, says the Minister.

The Malaysian Government holds the view that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which had taken into account country specific concerns, including the Bumiputera agenda of Malaysia, has the potential to boost trade, investments and create jobs.

“It will also provide preferential access for us into four markets which we currently do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with namely the United States, Canada, Mexico and Peru,” says the Minister.

Against the backdrop of sluggish economic recovery and the lowest rate of global trade growth in three decades, there seems to be a rising trend of protectionism and inward-looking sentiment in a number of countries.

“It is imperative for the global community to continue holding an open dialogue and engagement to stop this trend from getting translated into misguided policies which could dampen the global trade growth. Growth in world trade has been one of key drivers of prosperity across the globe for many decades until the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/08,” says the Malaysian Minister.

The Minister notes that Malaysia will remain involved in bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with other countries.

“Our focus now is on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) involving 10 ASEAN countries and 6 major trading partners in Asia Pacific region, including China.

“During the last Ministerial Meeting in Cebu, the Philippines, we have made some progress in narrowing the gaps on key issues for Goods, Services and Investment.

“The current uncertain international economic situation has motivated and strengthened the resolve of RCEP countries, which are among the fastest growing countries in the world, to continue working closely in reaching a conclusion of this trade agreement.” 

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