Shanmugam engages US lawmakers on TPP deal

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

Mr Shanmugam held separate meetings last Thursday with senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who were among the first to announce their White House bids in what has become an overcrowded Republican field for the 2016 election.

He also met Mr Cory Gardner, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Sub-committee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, and Mr Matt Salmon, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Asia and the Pacific.

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 important of the TPP, said the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The 12-nation trade deal has been a key focus of the minister's visit. Early in his visit, he stressed that the United States would lose credibility if it failed to deliver on the deal.

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

Jeremy Au Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'Shanmugam engages US lawmakers on TPP deal'. Subscribe