Foreign Minister Shanmugam continues to engage US politicians on free trade deal

Meeting between Senator Marco Rubio and Minister K Shanmugam, 18 June 2015
Meeting between Senator Marco Rubio and Minister K Shanmugam, 18 June 2015PHOTO: MFA
Minister K Shanmugam attending a reception for a bipartisan group of Congressional Chiefs of Staff hosted by Ambassador in Washington Ashok Mirpuri, 18 June 2015
Minister K Shanmugam attending a reception for a bipartisan group of Congressional Chiefs of Staff hosted by Ambassador in Washington Ashok Mirpuri, 18 June 2015PHOTO: MFA
Minister K Shanmugam attending a reception for a bipartisan group of Congressional Chiefs of Staff hosted by Ambassador in Washington Ashok Mirpuri, 18 June 2015
Minister K Shanmugam attending a reception for a bipartisan group of Congressional Chiefs of Staff hosted by Ambassador in Washington Ashok Mirpuri, 18 June 2015PHOTO: MFA

Singapore Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam continued to engage US lawmakers on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal on his week-long working visit to Washington, holding meetings with prominent American politicians on Thursday and Friday.

Mr Shanmugam held separate meetings with Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio on Thursday. The two were among the first to announce their candidacy in what has become an overcrowded Republican field for 2016.

The foreign minister also met Senator Cory Gardner, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and Representative Matt Salmon, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

According to Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Congressmen affirmed "bipartisan Congressional support for the long-standing Singapore-US relationship", exchanged views with Mr Shanmugam on how to enhance the US engagement in Asia and discussed the importance of the TPP.

The 12-nation mega trade pact, which received a boost this week when the House passed a key trade law, has been a key focus of Mr Shanmugam's visit.

Early on in his visit, he had stressed that the US would lose credibility if it failed to deliver on the deal.

Mr Shanmugam also met a bipartisan group of Congressional chiefs of staff at a reception hosted by Singapore's Ambassador to the US Ashok Mirpuri.

He also had discussions with members of the US media and Asia specialists from prominent US think tanks.

jeremyau@sph.com.sg