BEIJING: There is a possibility that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be ratified by the US Congress either at the end of November or early December this year, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said.
“We were given the impression that there is a possibility that the trade deal will be approved by Congress.
“This news was conveyed through the frequent communication channel,” he told Malaysian journalists here Wednesday before leaving for Cebu, the Philippines for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting on Thursday.
Mustapa, who was here to accompany Prime Minister Najib Razak on his six-day official visit to China, will then fly to Hong Kong for the closing ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business on Friday.
Mustapa said the US had been consistent in its stand on the TPP and had been communicating regularly on its development.
“However, it (TPP) requires the approval of (both) the Senate and House of Representatives,” he added.
(Under the US Constitution, all legislative powers vested in Congress shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives).
Mustapa said if the TPP was not approved by Congress, the signatory countries would have to discuss the next course of action.
Twelve countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, Vietnam and Malaysia, concluded the TPP negotiations in Atlanta on Oct 5 last year and signed the deal in Auckland on Feb 4.
Malaysia is committed to complete the ratification process of the trade pact by 2018 and has identified 18 laws that need to be amended.