THE Malaysian government said the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) could not be implemented if the United States decides to pull out from the trade pact following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections.
According to the New Straits Times, International Trade and Industries Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the government is consulting the possibility of dismantling the agreement with the 12 countries that signed the TPPA.
As the results of elections began trickling in on Wednesday, Mustapa said Malaysia was in contact with his counterparts who have worked on the agreement.
“We will continue to consult them (on the possibility that the Trump administration would dismantle the agreement),” he was quoted as saying.
However, he said it was too early to confirm whether the TPPA would be called off, but noted that Malaysia did not have a contingency plan for the eventuality.
Answering queries posed by reporter outside the parliament lobby, Mustapa said it was not possible to pursue the agreement without the US.
“Without America, there is no TPPA. We need the nation that contributes to 85 per cent of the TPPA to make it happen,” he said.
Mustapa said it was up to the US to cancel the agreement as it had the prerogative to do so.
If the agreement is cancelled, he said, the Malaysian economy would be slightly affected as it would take away better access to countries such as Canada, Mexico, and Peru which it had yet to establish any trade agreements.
Mustapa said, however, that it was still to early to draw conclusions as the president-elect had not been sworn in to office.
Last year, the US and 11 other Pacific Rim countries agreed to the ambitious TPPA, a controversial trade pact that cuts trade barriers, sets labor and environmental standards and protects multinational corporations’ intellectual property.
The TPPA was initiated by outgoing President Barack Obama within the first year of taking office , an effort Trump threatened to scrap despite seven years of intense negotiations with the member countries.
The TPPA is designed to encourage trade between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.