Obama Leaves Malaysia Empty-Handed

28.04.2014 - Prensa Latina

Obama Leaves Malaysia Empty-Handed
(Image by Telam)

Kuala Lumpur, Apr 28 (Prensa Latina) U.S. President Barack Obama, left Malaysia today with no clear sign of having convinced the government to sign the proposed trade association for the Asia-Pacific region known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the main goal of his visit. In a joint press conference with the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, at the end of the official talks, the common references to the TPP were limited to saying only that the current negotiations between the 12 countries involved are ongoing, and that the TPP would ultimately will bring more benefit than harm.

Only Obama went out on a limb to defend the TPP, a key part of a strategy outlined for the major world power to regain hegemony in the Asia-Pacific, using the argument that the future of America is tied to that region.

For his part, Razak said that the recently concluded meeting would help to strengthen bilateral relations, but his country is still far from being ready to sign the ambitious free trade pact due to internal “sensitivities.”

Earlier this month a member of the executive cabinet said the same to local media, and stressed that the priority must be economic integration within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), an economic community proposed to be created by late 2015.

National experts linked to the stalled TPP negotiations have expressed reservations about a deal that may be detrimental to local business in future competition, with participants enjoying greater advantages. The countries involved in this process, with dissimilar economies, are Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, USA, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.

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