Trans-Pa­cific trade pact praised, panned

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

MANILA: The Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship trade deal be­tween the US and 11 other Pa­cific na­tions is draw­ing po­ten­tial new mem­bers from Asia and crit­i­cism from those ex­cluded, as it heads for a tough ride in the US Congress. Lead­ers of the trade group­ing that spans the Pa­cific Rim met along­side a re­gional eco­nomic sum­mit yes­ter­day in the Philip­pines and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama urged them to rat­ify the deal “as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

The lead­ers is­sued a state­ment ac­knowl­edg­ing in­ter­est among other coun­tries in join­ing the pact, which cur­rently rep­re­sents about 40 per­cent of global trade.”This in­ter­est af­firms that through TPP we are cre­at­ing a new and com­pelling model for trade in one of the world’s fastest grow­ing and most dy­namic re­gions,” the state­ment said. Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III, host of the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion meet­ing in Manila, met with Obama and sought his help in even­tu­ally join­ing the ac­cord, which aims to re­duce bar­ri­ers to trade and also set la­bor and en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards.

“If the whole idea is to broaden trade, making it ex­clu­sive ac­tu­ally de­feats the whole pur­pose of why you en­ter into all of th­ese agree­ments,” Aquino said ear­lier in the week. In­done­sia and South Korea are among other coun­tries that have ex­pressed in­ter­est in join­ing the trade ar­range­ment, which is en­vi­sioned as a foun­da­tion for an even big­ger re­gion-wide trad­ing bloc. The Pan-Pa­cific trade deal has drawn crit­i­cism, how­ever, from China and Rus­sia, which are not part of it.

Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev said Wed­nes­day that world trade rules should be drafted within the frame­work of the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion, not re­gional group­ings. Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping also al­luded to the po­ten­tial con­flict be­tween re­gional deals and global trade rules. “We need to en­cour­age equal foot­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion and make free trade ar­range­ments open and in­clu­sive to the ex­tent pos­si­ble,” Xi said in a speech. US of­fi­cials have in­sisted the trade pact will be open to other coun­tries, as long as they are will­ing to com­mit to its rules.—AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.