TPPA critics sneer at vows by Clinton, Trump


PETALING JAYA: Two of the fiercest critics of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) have given cynical reactions to reports that the next US president may reject the pact.

Speaking to FMT, Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen said Putrajaya would do Washington’s bidding whatever the fate of the TPPA and Klang MP Charles Santiago said there were still chances that the agreement would become a reality.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the main contenders for the US Presidency, have declared that they are opposed to the trade agreement although Clinton promoted the deal when she was serving as Secretary of State.

“Despite Clinton’s recent public statement that she does not support the TPPA, most of us believe that she will backtrack if she wins,” Wong said.

“Whatever the US says, the Malaysian government will obey. So if the US makes a U-turn under Trump or Clinton, Najib will also do a U-turn.”

The Malaysian Reserve yesterday quoted Rothschild Global Advisory as saying that it would be “business as usual” for Malaysia if the TPPA was abandoned and that the country would not lose out to others and would not have to change its laws.

“I agree that there will be no real economic loss for Malaysia if the TPPA is scuttled,” said Wong Chen. “The government’s own study, carried out by PwC (Price Waterhouse Coopers), shows negligible impact.”

Santiago also shrugged off the Rothschild report, saying there was nothing to get excited about since PwC had said the same thing.

In fact, he said, the cost to Malaysia would be high if the country did go ahead with the TPPA as planned.

“This is especially true in the area of intellectual property rights and also in the pricing of medicines.”

Santiago said the chances of TPPA being approved in the US were still there although all signs indicated this was going to be challenging.

“Both Clinton and Trump have said ‘no’ to the TPPA, but it is possible for it to be passed during the lame duck period between November 8 and the end of December,” he said.

“The White House is working together with corporate lobby groups to lobby with congressman and senators. We should not underestimate the power of corporate lobbies over elected representatives in the US.”