Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Malaysia says 'No' to U.S. renegotiation

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo Japan
Melinda Barton | 14 April, 2018, 21:17

President Donald Trump, in a surprising reversal, told a gathering of farm state lawmakers and governors Thursday morning that he was directing his advisers to look into rejoining the multicountry trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal he pulled out of within days of assuming the presidency.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a speech during the Americas Business Summit in Lima, Peru April 13, 2018. "This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important", he said.

"Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican who represents Nebraska and has been sharply critical of the tariffs, said it was "good news" that the president directed top staff, including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to negotiate US entry into TPP". Last April, he ordered the strike of almost 60 Tomahawk missiles that destroyed a Syrian air base.

"We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!" he wrote.

Several countries, including the United Kingdom and South Korea, have indicated preliminary interest in signing up to the agreement, Mr Parker said.

"I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad", Trump said late Friday at the White House.

The Trans Pacific Partnership, a deal Trump once described as a "rape of our country", is a multicountry trade agreement in which the USA participated under President Obama. Beijing and Washington have threatened to impose tariffs on $50 billion of the other's exports. The remaining countries, like Japan, moved ahead without the U.S., and spent months renegotiating a pact before finally agreeing to a sweeping multinational deal this year. Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross later said the administration needs to see concrete actions from China to reach a deal.

The remarks were another conciliatory signal from the administration following tit-for-tat tariffs proposals from the world's two largest economies that rattled markets. Asian stocks climbed as equities in Japan and Australia advanced.

Withdrawing from the deal was one of Mr Trump's first acts as president, delivering one of his core campaign promises.

What could have pushed President Trump over the fence to announce the idea of rejoining the TPP talks is the recent trade dispute between the USA and China.

"TPP would address so many issues, such as environmental, worker rights, public procurement, trade unions", Hauskrecht says.

A spokeswoman for Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry appeared similarly open to the USA rejoining, noting that the TPP was "designed to be an inclusive agreement, which is open to like-minded countries willing and able to meet its high standards".