Mustapa flayed over TPPA assertion in Parliament

PETALING JAYA: International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed has been flayed over his assertion that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) could be buried if Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States.

Dapsy Malaysia International Secretary Howard Lee said Mustapa’s assertion that the TPPA could be buried as Trump was against the pact, showed either the minister’s ignorance or lack of knowledge on US politics and current affairs.

In a statement, Lee said based on Mustapa’s logic, the TPPA would be dead regardless of who won the US presidential election as all four front runners, including Democrat candidates Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as Trump’s Republican rival Ted Cruz, are against the TPPA.

The Pasir Pinji assemblyman said under the US legislative system, the President and the Federal government (the US executive branch) could not make laws, while Congress (the US bicameral Parliament) acted separately and independently of the President.

“The president can veto legislation, but Congress can overturn the veto with a two-third majority,”
Lee, who is also president of International Union of Socialist Youth, said neither houses of congress, be it the Senate or the House of Representatives, necessarily reflected the US president’s political affiliation. He said this was the case now with the US congress being controlled by Republicans, even though President Barrack Obama was a Democrat.

“To say that a Congress under Trump would be a Congress that will vote down TPPA is a juvenile mistake certainly not one that should be made by a minister.

“If the minister is sincere in his answer to Parliament, of TPPA likely meeting its demise, then he has been misinformed and is incompetent for not knowing the basic governance structure of a prospective trading partner nation.”

“Could the minister be misleading the August House of an impending demise of the TPPA, so the voices of opposition towards the TPPA would go quietly into the night?” he said, adding Mustapa should not give misleading answers.

Yesterday, Mustapa said Trump’s election could mean the end of the TPPA as the latter had been against it.

“We do not want to make predictions on what will happen in the US, but if this were to happen (Trump becomes the next US President) and the US Congress does not support the TPPA, then the TPPA will die,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.