TPP can't come into effect in current form without US participation: MTI

Germany says it sees opportunities after President Trump withdrew the US from the Asia-Pacific trade pact. Asian nations, meanwhile, are trying to save it.VIDEO: REUTERS
President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order ending US participation in the TPP, a free trade pact signed by 12 countries - including Singapore - that together account for 40 per cent of world trade.
President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order ending US participation in the TPP, a free trade pact signed by 12 countries - including Singapore - that together account for 40 per cent of world trade.PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement cannot come into effect in its current form without the participation of the United States, said Singapore's Trade and Industry Ministry (MTI).

In a statement following news that the US will withdraw from the TPP, the MTI said Singapore will continue to participate in other regional free trade initiatives even as it "discusses the way forward" with other TPP partners.

President Donald Trump on Monday (Jan 23) signed an executive order ending US participation in the TPP, a free trade pact signed by 12 countries - including Singapore - that together account for 40 per cent of world trade.

The move sends signals that Mr Trump's anti-trade rhetoric on the campaign trail is turning into action.

Mr Trump has called the TPP a "potential disaster", arguing that the deal will harm American workers.

 
 
 

Singapore's MTI said in its statement that the country "is committed to pursuing a rules-based trading system and greater regional integration".

"The agreement that the TPP parties has negotiated is one such pathway to achieve stronger trade linkages that will promote growth opportunities and job creation in all the member countries.

"The US has indicated that it will pull out of the TPP agreement. Without the participation of the US, the TPP agreement as signed cannot come into effect."

The MTI spokesman added that Singapore will continue to participate in regional initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the proposal for a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

The RCEP is an Asia Pacific trade liberalisation initiative led by China that includes the 10 Asean members as well as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and India.

"We will have to discuss the way forward with the other TPP partners. Each of the partners will have to carefully study the new balance of benefits," the MTI added.