‘U.S. NOT RE­TURN­ING TO TRADE PACT’

Wash­ing­ton says will seek bi­lat­eral agree­ments in Asia in­stead

New Straits Times - - Business -

HANOI pro­tec­tion­ism.

The meet­ing, here, was the big­gest global trade gath­er­ing since US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump up­ended the old or­der with his “Amer­ica First” trade pol­icy, de­signed to pro­tect Amer­i­can jobs.

Trump with­drew from TPP in one of his first acts in of­fice, but the 11 re­main­ing coun­tries agreed to ex­plore how they could still move ahead — partly in the hope that the US would re­con­sider leav­ing.

New US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer said there was no way back.

“TPP-11 can make their own de­ci­sions and the US makes its de­ci­sion, but we ex­pect to stay en­gaged and I be­lieve at some point there will be a series of bi­lat­eral agree­ments with part­ners in this part of the world,” he said. been di­lut­ing the price im­pact of their pro­duc­tion cuts.

The pro­duc­ers, who to­gether ac­count for about half the world’s oil sup­ply, have seen the ini­tial price boost from their his­toric agree­ment fade as shale com­pa­nies de­ployed more rigs and raised the coun­try’s out­put to

Al­though the TPP mem­bers kept the trade agree­ment alive, they fell short of a whole­hearted com­mit­ment to move ahead im­me­di­ately with a deal that mem­bers also see as a way to con­tain an in­creas­ingly dominant China. the high­est since 2015.

Of­fi­cials at the Vi­enna meet­ing were re­lieved that two out­side en­ergy con­sul­tants had es­ti­mates for growth in av­er­age US crude out­put of 450,000 to 500,000 bar­rels a day this year, lower than the 562,000 bar­rel-aday fore­cast from Opec’s own an­a­lysts,

One of the big­gest chal­lenges is keep­ing on board Viet­nam and Malaysia, which signed up for the deal and promised to make ma­jor re­forms largely to get bet­ter US mar­ket ac­cess. They now want to rene­go­ti­ate some points. Reuters said two del­e­gates.

While news of a pro­posal for a nine-month ex­ten­sion of out­put cuts helped send prices to a twoweek high last Mon­day, crude re­mains stuck near US$50 (RM216.30) a bar­rel, less than half the level traded in 2014. Bloomberg

REUTERS PIC

Saudi En­ergy Min­is­ter Khalid al-Falih (left) says ex­tend­ing the cur­rent out­put cut through the first quar­ter of next year will help oil pro­duc­ers reach their goal of trim­ming global stock­piles to a fiveyear av­er­age.

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