MALAYSIA: CAP: Tell Obama M’sians reject TPPA

Friday 25 April 2014

Date: 24 April 2014

Type: News

Source:FMT News

Keywords: Malaysia, Obama Visit, TPPA,

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) calls on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to inform visiting American president Barack Obama directly that Malaysia had rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

But if this was not possible, suggested CAP president SM Mohamed Idris, Putrajaya should at least not make any new concessions to Washington on the TPPA negotiations during Obama’s three-day visit to Malaysia starting this Saturday.

Nevertheless, in his letter to Najib on April 21, Idris has urged the federal government to reject TPPA.

Similar letters have also been sent to other cabinet members, including Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Wahid Omar and Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah.

“We believe that the Prime Minister should take advantage of the US President’s visit to brief him about Malaysians’ concerns about the TPPA, and to withdraw from further negotiations in the best interest of the country.

“If the visit of the US President is not judged to be the best occasion to announce an exit from the TPPA, we request at the least that no new concessions be offered to the United States during the Prime Minister’s meeting with the President or during the meetings between Malaysian and US officials. “TPPA is another form of US trade policy to colonise countries like Malaysia,” Idris told newsmen in CAP office here today.

He recalled certain contentious issues raised in TPPA had also featured in the previous failed negotiations between Putrajaya and Washington to ink a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) several years ago.

He said TPPA would bring few benefits to Malaysia even in market access, since Malaysia had higher tariffs in many products than the US.

Thus, he said Malaysia would have to make significant concessions than the US. For issues other than tariffs, he said Malaysia would be adversely affected in economic and social terms.

CAP reminded Najib that during the TPPA Summit held in Bali in October 2013, he had stated that issues like intellectual property, government procurement, state-owned enterprises, environment, labour and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) were issues that fundamentally impinged on the sovereign right of the country to make regulations and policies.

“We believe the Prime Minister shares the concerns that we and many other Malaysian citizens and groups had on dangers posed by the TPPA and its limited potential gains,” said Idris.###

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