TPPA: Just Yes/No vote in Parliament next year

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Source: FMT News

tppa_graphic_bahasa_101015KUALA LUMPUR: International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed has revealed that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which was scheduled to be tabled in Parliament early next year will only be in the form of a Yes-No vote.

When asked on the possibility of making a few changes to the agreement, Mustapa stressed that no changes would be entertained.

“No, there will be no changes in the agreement. We are just going to say ‘yes or no’ in Parliament. It will be a yes or no vote,” he told reporters after officiating the ‘Asean My Market Forum 2015’ here today.

It was announced on October 5 that the 12 prospective member countries of the TPPA had reached an agreement on the trade deal, with the next step being domestic approval and ratification of the deal by the respective countries.

The TPP is a free trade agreement that has been negotiated by the US, Malaysia and 10 other nations as part of the larger Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership since 2010.

According to international reports, the Pacific agreement would phase out thousands of import tariffs as well as other barriers to international trade and establish uniform rules on corporations’ intellectual property, while opening up the Internet.

Critics have however expressed uneasiness over the secrecy with which the deal was negotiated, claiming that it would, among other things, undermine the sovereignty of signatory nations and make drugs more expensive in member countries.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad described the deal as a “very bad” agreement and expressed concern that it would affect the competitiveness of Malaysian companies.