We’re on track to rat­ify TPPA by dead­line: Miti

> Malaysia will find ways to en­gage with key trad­ing part­ners within the 12 coun­tries if pact falls through

The Sun (Malaysia) - - MEDIA & MARKETING - BY EVA YEONG

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will find ways to en­gage with coun­tries that it does not have free trade agree­ments with in the off chance that theTrans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (TPPA) falls through, In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry sec­re­tary-gen­eral Datuk J. Jayasiri said.

Malaysia, how­ever, is on track to com­plete the TPPA rat­i­fi­ca­tion process by the Fe­bru­ary 2018 dead­line.

“We are in the process of amend­ing those laws. We have 18 leg­is­la­tions iden­ti­fied and they are in dif­fer­ent stages of prepa­ra­tion, and will be sent to Par­lia­ment for amend­ments. Once we have all th­ese amended then we will de­cide on the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the agree­ment,” he told re­porters at The King’s Dis­course on the TPPA on Satur­day.

The TPPA was signed on Feb 4, 2016 and the 12 coun­tries in­volved have two years to rat­ify the agree­ment. The TPPA comes into ef­fect 60 days af­ter the rat­i­fi­ca­tion process is com­pleted.

The 12 coun­tries are Malaysia, the US, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia, Peru, Viet­nam, New Zealand, Chile, Sin­ga­pore, Canada, Mex­ico and Brunei.

Asked whether the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions would af­fect the TPPA, Jayasiri said the US ad­min­is­tra­tion is mak­ing prepa­ra­tions for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ment.

“The US ad­min­is­tra­tion is mak­ing prepa­ra­tions to get its Im­ple­men­ta­tion Bill agreed by or at least con­sid­ered by Congress and to get their ap­provals from Congress so that they will then be in a po­si­tion to rat­ify it. I can’t say for cer­tain when it is go­ing to be done but there have been a lot of news re­ports that they in­tend to do it within this pres­i­dency,” he said.

Jayasiri said if the agree­ment doesn’t take off, Malaysia will find ways to en­gage with coun­tries within the TPP that do not have free trade agree­ments (FTAs) with Malaysia.

He said the four coun­tries – the US, Canada, Mex­ico and Peru – are im­por­tant mar­kets, trad­ing part­ners and sources of in­vest­ment.

If any of the 12 coun­tries are un­able to rat­ify the agree­ment within the twoyear pe­riod, the TPPA will still be im­ple­mented if there are at least six coun­tries ac­count­ing for 85% of the to­tal gross do­mes­tic prod­uct of the 12 coun­tries that have com­pleted the rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

“Once that con­di­tion is met, the agree­ment will be im­ple­mented. Those who have not met the con­di­tions will try to rat­ify the agree­ment so that they will also be part of it. Those who have not rat­i­fied when the agree­ment comes into force, they will not be a party to the agree­ment yet,” said Jayasiri.

He said the gov­ern­ment has been hav­ing out­reach pro­grammes for busi­nesses and var­i­ous stake­hold­ers.

“This year alone we have had al­most 150 out­reach pro­grammes. We go to the as­so­ci­a­tions, the cham­bers, FMM (Fed­er­a­tion of Malaysian Man­u­fac­tur­ers) – not just in the Klang Val­ley but all states in­clud­ing Sabah and Sarawak – the uni­ver­si­ties and some big com­pa­nies that will have big im­pli­ca­tions from the TPPA. We want busi­nesses to un­der­stand what’s in store and how to pre­pare for it,” he added.

ASYRAF RASID/ THESUN

Pan­el­lists and par­tic­i­pants at The King’s Dis­course: TPPA What Now? What Next? in Kuala Lumpur on Satur­day.

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