‘US will even­tu­ally re­turn to ne­go­ti­a­tion ta­ble’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The United States’ with­drawal from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) is akin to shoot­ing one­self in the head, said a trade ad­vo­cate.

Dr Deb­o­rah Elms said the US’ se­cret in­volv­ing the deal was that the agree­ment was writ­ten for them by them with ben­e­fits in their favour.

She an­tic­i­pated that the US would even­tu­ally re­turn to the ne­go­ti­a­tion ta­ble and con­tinue its role in the agree­ment.

“How and when, no one knows due to the po­lit­i­cal sce­nario,” Elms said on the side­lines of the 31st Asia-Pa­cific Roundtable here yes­ter­day.

Fol­low­ing the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump as the US pres­i­dent, the US with­drew from TPP in Jan­uary.

Elms, who is also Asian Trade Cen­tre ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, ear­lier spoke on a dis­cus­sion panel ti­tled “Wither Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion in the Asia Pa­cific: More In­gre­di­ents for the Spaghetti Bowl?”

She said it would be ben­e­fi­cial for other coun­tries in­volved in TPP to go ahead with the part­ner­ship with­out the US.

“US will be at the los­ing end be­cause its com­pa­nies are seek­ing ac­cess into these coun­tries and their mar­kets.”

On the One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive, Elms said it could be a use­ful plan to lift the bot­tle­necks in in­fra­struc­ture faced in the re­gion.

“This, how­ever, de­pends what and where these in­fra­struc­ture are built,” she said, adding that in­fra­struc­ture that helped trade, such as roads and ports, would be good.

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