No TPP / image: santiagotimes.cl

MTI: Singapore will continue to participate in regional trade deals

Responding to the US President’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement on 24 Jan that Singapore will continue to participate in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the proposal for a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

“Singapore is committed to pursuing a rules-based trading system and greater regional integration. The agreement that the TPP parties has negotiated is one such pathway to achieve stronger trade linkages that will promote growth opportunities and job creation in all the member countries,” the statement said.

The MTI said, “We will have to discuss the way forward with the other TPP partners first. Each of the partners will have to carefully study the new balance of benefits.”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement between 12 countries including the US. At present, Singapore already has its own trade agreements with all of the countries, with the exception of Mexico and Canada. It has been said by the Government that should the TPP be passed, the overall effect will strengthen Singapore’s economy.

PM Lee has long lamented about the failure to pull TPP through, and said, “We still hope that one day, we will have a regional trade deal which will include the US, which will include Singapore, include Japan and the other big countries. But it is a long way off. And we will have to make the best of the situation,”