US withdrawal from TPP need not be death knell to free trade: MTI

US withdrawal from TPP need not be death knell to free trade: MTI

Singapore is actively engaged in other regional integration initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the ASEAN Economic Community, MTI reiterates.

SINGAPORE: The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a setback but need not be the ultimate outcome for the global trade liberalising agenda, Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang said in Parliament on Monday (Feb 6).

Responding to questions by Members of Parliament (MPs) Ang Wei Neng and Pritam Singh, as well as Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Randolph Tan, Mr Lim said with US' exit, the TPP agreement as signed cannot come into effect.

The remaining 11 members that signed the TPP agreement will now have to carefully study the new balance of benefits without the US' participation and consider the value of such an agreement.

Additionally, Singapore is actively engaged in other regional integration initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the ASEAN Economic Community, he reiterated.

Mr Lim added that Singapore will continue to work with like-minded partners at the World Trade Organization as advocates of a rules-based multilateral trading system, and it also has an existing network of 21 free trade agreements in force.

"These speak to our deep ties with key trading partners and will help us stay connected as the environment evolves," Mr Lim said.

"We will also actively pursue other forms of economic cooperation initiatives, including industrial parks and other projects in the region, to create more opportunities for our companies to collaborate and to grow."

Source: CNA/kk

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