Malaysia takes wait-and-see attitude over TPP


International Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed posing after the #TanyaGomen forum on TPP issue at Platinum Sentral yesterday. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star. October 16, 2015..

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is taking a wait-and-see attitude over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) status after Donald Trump’s victory as the 45th US president leaves the trade deal in a limbo, the Dewan Rakyat was told on Monday. 

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said there were several possibilities, including Trump could change his mind on the TPP before his swearing-in on Jan 20 next year. 

“The possibility that TPP will be brought before US Congress will not happen. However, there is also a view that Trump may change his stand (on TPP) as he had changed his mind over several matters. 

“So, we’ll see what happen after Jan 20,” he said when winding up debate on the Supply Bill 2017 for his ministry at the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. 

He was responding to a question from Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman (PKR-Indera Mahkota), who wanted to know the Government’s position if Trump were to reject the trade deal. 

The matter will be raised at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting in Lima, Peru on Nov 19 and 20, Mustapa said, adding that Apec was expected to discuss a motion that the TPP would proceed without the inclusion of the US and China. 

Mustapa said the Government was committed to ensuring the success of favourable free-trade agreements such as the TPP and the World Trade Organisation. 

“We had negotiated on the TPP for five years. We had argued over it the Dewan Rakyat and decided to approve the TPP motion before I signed it on Feb 4. 

“We had spent a lot of time. Don’t be hasty, we will make the right decision for the people,” he said. 

Taking a swipe at opposition lawmakers, Mustapa said he was surprised by their concerns as it seemed some of them wanted the TPP to become a reality. 

“When the TPP was debated, we quarreled over it, many of you had opposed it. Today it looks like some of you have changed your mind, I noticed that some are supporting it. 

“I can see how hypocritical you are. Now some have indicated their regret that the TPP has fizzled out,” he said. 

Datuk Seri Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor) said that if the TPP were not ratified, it would have a negative impact on the national economy as the trade deal was expected to raise Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to RM891.37bil during the 2018-2027 period. 

Without Malaysia’s participation in the TPP, he said its GDP was expected to decline up to RM67.59bil. 

Nasrudin Hassan (PAS-Temerloh) said the Government ought to take steps to integrate its economy within Asean to enable it to compete on the global stage. - Bernama
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