The government should no longer join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), given the withdrawal of the US from the agreement, said the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).
It should also stop the implementation of changes in domestic laws and policies to comply with the TPPA.
CAP president SM Mohamed Idris said President Donald Trump’s executive order to withdraw the US from the TPPA has effectively killed the TPPA itself.
Despite this, it has been reported that some TPPA members want the agreement to continue, even without the US.
“Malaysia should not agree to such a proposal, as it would be definitely against our country’s interest to join the same TPPA and especially without the US,” he said.
In the TPPA, Malaysia was looking to gain better market access for its exports, particularly in the US, as it is the largest economy among TPPA members.
In exchange for this, Malaysia was willing to take on various obligations that have negative effects to the country’s economy and society.
These obligations include taking on much stronger intellectual property laws that curb Malaysians’ ability to have cheaper medicines, and agreeing to foreign investors taking cases in an international tribunal against the government to obtain compensation for future losses they claim to suffer for any changes to government policies.
“It would be irrational and unacceptable to remain in the TPPA and take on the bad obligations when there is no benefit of access to the US market to compensate for these bad obligations,” said Mohamed Idris.
“The TPPA was in any case a lop-sided agreement that did not favour Malaysia, so there would not be any net loss to Malaysia by not joining the TPPA.”
With this, CAP urged the government to suspend all its measures aimed at changing domestic laws and policies to comply with the TPPA.
“In our view, it is urgent for the government to suspend all its moves to make these changes since the TPPA will no longer exist,” he said.
“It would be ridiculous and against the public interest to change laws and policies that would make Malaysians worse off just to comply with the TPPA when in all likelihood the TPPA will no longer exist.”
Image sourced from Rural Connect
Diane Foo Eu Lynn, Senior Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email firstname.lastname@example.org