Developed markets’ protectionist policies a hurdle for TPPA ratification, research house says

Developed markets’ protectionist policies a hurdle for TPPA ratification, research house says

KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Rising developed market protectionism has affected free trade in developed countries, which may in turn impact the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTPA), a Fitch Group research house said today.

“Political discourse in the US and EU is increasingly turning more sceptical of free trade agreements in recognition of domestic electorates’ growing dissatisfaction with the economic model of the past decade,” BMI Research said in a statement.

“As a result, we expect major free trade agreements currently on the table to face significant hurdles to successful ratification. These include the US-Asia Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).”

The research house added that this was facilitated by many developed countries’ implementing “protectionist policies,” namely the practice of shielding a country’s domestic industries from foreign competition, since 2009.

“The main drag on trade liberalisation has been developed markets (DMs), which have seen their ‘trade freedom’ indices stagnate since 2009. One of the reasons for this trend is a rising tide of protectionist policies.

“We expect this protectionist trend to remain in place over the next five-to-10 years, threatening the passage of major trade deals,” the report read.

Just last month, national newswire Bernama quoted International Trade and Industry Ministry Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria as saying that the TPPA will not be implemented nor re-negotiated if the US does not ratify the trade pact.

Also, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed was reported as saying in March that the TPPA would end if Donald Trump became the next US President.

The Republican candidate for the US presidential elections reportedly called the TPPA the “biggest betrayal” of Americans, claiming the trade pact would result in job losses for his countrymen due to massive work outsourcing.

Malaysia and 11 other nations ? the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Japan and Peru — signed the agreement in January after years of negotiations.

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