TPPA talks to proceed even without US Senate backing

14 May 2015 / 05:36 H.

    JOHOR BARU: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations involving 12 countries will still proceed even though the United States has not received the support of the Senate to continue talks to finalise the agreement.
    Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri said each participating country in the negotiations must have its own individual issues that it wants to safeguard.
    "For certain, all countries (that are involved) have their own individual issues ... that is normal. We are still at the negotiation stage," he told reporters after launching the 'Exporters Forum 2015' at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre here yesterday.
    Hamim said this when commenting on the latest report that stated the US government failed to secure the support of the Senate to continue with the negotiations in order to finalise the TPPA.
    It was reported that the future of the TPPA may be affected with President Barack Obama failing to secure Senate support to advance Fast Track Authority to a full debate and vote in Congress.
    Following that, it could lead to uncertainty especially as the TPPA ministers are expected to meet in Guam starting on May 26 on expectation that they could finalise the negotiations.
    Hamim said Malaysia's stand remains, and any decision will only be decided by the Cabinet.
    Early last month, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia would make a decision on its participation in the TPPA in the third quarter of this year after all the negotiations were completed.
    The TPPA negotiation process, which has been going on for the last five years, is expected to complete by the first half of 2015. The TPP is a free trade agreement initiative involving 12 countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam, involving a market of 800 million people. – Bernama

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