Kerry hopes to re­vive TPP deal

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry re­fused to call last rites on the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) yes­ter­day, ex­press­ing hope Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump will drop his op­po­si­tion to the con­tentious free trade deal.

The 12-na­tion TPP be­came an is­sue dur­ing the US elec­tion cam­paign, with crit­ics in­clud­ing Mr Trump say­ing it would cost Amer­i­can jobs.

Mr Kerry said in­ter­na­tional trade was crit­i­cal to US in­ter­ests and the TPP could help grow the econ­omy.

“I think as peo­ple ex­am­ine it and be­gin to get be­yond the cam­paign and be­gin to dig into it, my hope is it can sum­mon the sup­port it needs,” he said on a trip to New Zealand.

The TPP in­cludes a dozen Asia-Pa­cific na­tions that to­gether ac­count for 40 per­cent of the global econ­omy.

They are the United States, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mex­ico, New Zealand, Peru, Sin­ga­pore and Viet­nam.

It has been signed but is yet to be rat­i­fied by law­mak­ers in the US.

Mr Kerry said he and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama re­mained “deeply com­mit­ted” to the deal but would not try to push it through in the so­called “lame duck” leg­isla­tive ses­sion be­fore Mr Trump takes over.

“The fact that it may not be taken up in the lame duck ses­sion isn’t in­dica­tive of where the coun­try may go, that’s for sure,” he said.

“I be­lieve there’ll be a ro­bust de­bate about it and there’s enough benefit in it for ev­ery­body that ul­ti­mately peo­ple will come to see this as a dif­fer­ent kind of agree­ment.”

Mr Kerry also de­nied that the TPP was in­tended to cre­ate an eco­nomic bul­wark against China’s rise in the Asia-Pa­cific.

“It’s not about China,” he said. “The United States wel­comes the peace­ful rise of a great na­tion like China. We’ve said that di­rectly to Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.” –

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