Renegotiation of TPP required if trade pact goes ahead without US: Malaysia Trade Minister

"We are open, we remain committed to TPP," said  Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed.
"We are open, we remain committed to TPP," said Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed.PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI (REUTERS) - Some renegotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would be needed if it is to move ahead without the United States, Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed said on Friday (May 19).

However, he told Reuters in an interview that a bigger priority for Malaysia at the moment was completing negotiations on the China-backed trade deal for Asia, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

"We are open, we remain committed to TPP. I am being realistic - without the US, this will change the game altogether... There would have to be some renegotiation," Mustapa said.

"First priority is RCEP for us," he said.

He was still optimistic that the United States would eventually rejoin TPP, which was ditched by US President Donald Trump.

Discussions on both the TPP and RCEP deals are taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the sidelines of a meeting of trade ministers from Asia Pacific-Economic Cooperation countries.