Putrajaya still pursuing TPP, says Mustapa

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Source: The Malaysian Insight

Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), outside the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur on August 23, 2013. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

THE government will still pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) showing progress.

International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the TPP is still relevant to the country and discussions are moving in tandem with the RCEP.

“We have spent a lot of time and invested a lot of money in the TPP and also reached a final agreement (for the pact) before it was abandoned.

“We are still looking at alternatives and discussing with other TPP countries on the agreement. There will be a meeting to be hosted by Australia regarding this matter next month,” he said today.

The TPP was to have been the biggest trade agreement in history involving Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It was signed on February 4, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand, concluding seven years of negotiations.

However, on January 23, US President-elect Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum to withdraw from the trade pact. But the other 11 TPP countries agreed in May to revive the deal without US participation.

Mustapa said, however, Malaysia is still engaging the US on a free-trade agreement as the country remains an important business partner.

“The United States is the biggest economy in the world. They are our third largest trading partner and Malaysia’s biggest electrical and electronics products export destination.” – Bernama, August 9, 2017.