Najib Razak / Socio-economy

What is the TPPA, according to the Americans

Statement by the President on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

October 5, 2015

“I’ve spent every day of my presidency fighting to grow our economy and strengthen our middle class. That means making sure our workers have a fair shot to get ahead here at home, and a fair chance to compete around the world. My approach to trade has been guided by a unifying principle: leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses, so we can export more products stamped Made in America all over the world that support higher-paying American jobs here at home.

Over the summer, Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together to help the United States negotiate agreements for free and fair trade that would support our workers, our businesses, and our economy as a whole. When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy.We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment.

That’s what the agreement reached today in Atlanta will do. Trade ministers from the 12 nations that make up the Trans-Pacific Partnership finished negotiations on an agreement that reflects America’s values and gives our workers the fair shot at success they deserve.

This partnership levels the playing field for our farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers by eliminating more than 18,000 taxes that various countries put on our products. It includes the strongest commitments on labor and the environment of any trade agreement in history, and those commitments are enforceable, unlike in past agreements. It promotes a free and open Internet. It strengthens our strategic relationships with our partners and allies in a region that will be vital to the 21st century. It’s an agreement that puts American workers first and will help middle-class families get ahead.

Once negotiators have finalized the text of this partnership, Congress and the American people will have months to read every word before I sign it. I look forward to working with lawmakers from both parties as they consider this agreement. If we can get this agreement to my desk, then we can help our businesses sell more Made in America goods and services around the world, and we can help more American workers compete and win.”

Congratulations to all the 11 nations in Asia Pacific that are on the verge of looking after the Americans’ interests and well being. They are Japan, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Thank you for the job well done.

Read more here, on how the TPPA will help Americans to “rewrite the rules of trade to benefit America’s middle class.” Because if they don’t, “competitors who don’t share our values, like China, will step in to fill that void.”

Question to the leaders of the Asia Pacific countries who will sign the TPPA: If the American strategy of the TPPA is to protect the American big corporations’ products domestically and to push it into other foreign countries ubiquitously, how will the TPPA help the products from those foreign countries to enter the local American market?

Taken from the White House’s website:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership
What You Need to Know about President Obama’s Trade Agreement

Writing the Rules To Support American Jobs

America’s trade policy may seem remote and technical, but it has a significant impact on the strength of our economy and the lives of millions of Americans. If the businesses you buy from everyday also sell their products to customers abroad, they are more likely to expand and support jobs here at home.

Why is that? Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside our borders. Our Made-in-America products and services are in demand, making American exports a vital pillar of our 21st century economy. In fact, exports played an indispensable role in America’s resurgence from the Great Recession. So, when the rules are fair, Americans can out-compete anyone in the world.

Last year, we broke the record in American exports for the fifth year in a row, selling $2.34 trillion in goods and services abroad. And here’s why that’s important: The more we sell abroad, the more higher-paying jobs we support here at home.

And those jobs tend to pay Americans better, meaning companies that export pay up to 18% more than companies that don’t.

But right now, our current trade policy — the status quo — puts our workers and businesses at a disadvantage, with higher costs for American goods, more barriers to trade, and lower standards for workers and the environment abroad than we have at home.

That is why President Obama has concluded negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership and will now work with Congress to secure its passage into law. The TPP is a trade agreement with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific, including Canada and Mexico that will eliminate over 18,000 taxes various countries put on Made-in-America products.

With the TPP, we can rewrite the rules of trade to benefit America’s middle class. Because if we don’t, competitors who don’t share our values, like China, will step in to fill that void.

That is why the President’s trade policy is the best tool we have to ensure that our workers, our businesses, and our values are shaping globalization and the 21st century economy, rather than getting left behind.

Good luck, rest of the world.

You might also want to read:

1) What is in the TPPA?

2) Tun Mahathir in Sabah

3) Keadaan negara kita

4) The worst trade deal for the participating countries

5) No confidence vote

6) Stiglitz on TPPA : The US is committed to a lack of transparency

24 thoughts on “What is the TPPA, according to the Americans

  1. Simply put, who in the US or Canada would want to buy made-in-Malaysia Proton cars?

    And that’s just an example.

    Will more and better FDI come to Malaysia because of the TPP? Will more MNCs and TPP countries’ SMEs be encouraged to set up operations in Malaysia and move substantial intellectual property and expertise here to service the regional market?

    How will “protecting the bumiputra agenda” and “protecting government procurements” help the Malaysian economy reform, restructure and face up to regional and global competition?

    Like

    • If you look carefully at all 11 countries, they are all beholden to the US one way or another. Japan and their WW2 legacy, Vietnam and their Vietnam War legacy, Mexico being the vassal of US, Singapore and Australia being the deputy sheriffs in ASEAN and Asia Pacific region respectively, etc. So you see, since when Malaysia has to follow what the Americans instructed? Many other countries in Asia did not follow suit. Malaysia in this decade and decades after can be proud to be under the USA’s influence. Bravo!

      Like

      • Malaysia doesn’t have much of a choice, does it?

        The only games in town are the US and China. No prizes for guessing which way Japan, Australia and South Korea are oriented.

        So, in the US playbook, you are either “in” or “out”.

        Basically, therefore, your post is misguided and erroneous.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You forget that we have come this way before and our response was to be one of the co-founders of NAM. Between the devil and the deep blue sea, walking away is the hidden option.

          Like

  2. Bro Jebat Must Die, kenapa tak completekan je article lu dgn info2 Tok Pa tentang demands by Malaysia on issues on TPPA? Also the fact that it needs to go thru Parliement before Malaysia can sign. Cuba cerita kasi complete sikit bro. Lu tau audience lu rakyat Malaysia so kasi perspective lebih bermakna kalau lu ikut suggestion gua. Betoi tak?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Because the article is titled: What is TPPA according to the Americans.

      And since we still don’t know what are the details of the TPPA as negotiated by Tok Pa (he can say till kingdom come that he will protect Malaysia’s interests although the contents are still a secret like here – http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/conclusion-of-tppa-negotiations-mustapa-mohamed), fact of the matter is, The USA has given us what their TPPA is entailed (like here – https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/05/fact-sheet-how-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-boosts-made-america-exports). Until the day Tok Pa and Malaysia is transparent about the TPPA, this is the complete perspective for now. Thank you.

      Like

    • Gua lu gua lu, cantik betul bahasa. Macam baru datang dari Guangdong. Mana bijik butir TPPA yang Malaysia dah setuju dgn US? Apa pasai sampai sekarang tak transparent? Taruk benda detail sikit la. Taxation mana yang US akan waive untuk produk Malaysia? Apa benda yang rakyat Malaysia boleh untung dengan US kalau TPPA ni dah sign? Tak tahu hujung pangkal takkan hang nak kata TPPA ni terbaik untuk Malaysia? US dah tunjuk yang TPPA bagus untuk dia. Happy betoi presiden dia bagi statement. Maknanya, kalau kita semua sign, statement dia jadi kenyataan. Memang mati la kita Malaysia kalau nak ikutkan cara US nak kayakan rakyat dia sendiri

      Like

    • “Mana bijik butir TPPA yang Malaysia dah setuju dgn US?”

      La, ini bukan persetujuan (bilateral) antara Malaysia dengan US tapi persetujuan bersama 11 buah negara. Dokumen yang dirujuk oleh Presiden Obama ialah dokumen sama yang telah di persetujui bersama (https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2015/october/summary-trans-pacific-partnership). Namun, Presiden Obama dan Saudara Jebat memberi pendapat melalui pandangan mereka seperti dalam cerita lima (5) orang buta membelek seekor gajah.

      Like

    • Bravo, Saudara Kopihangtuah.
      The USA must necessarily see the TPPA from their perspective. What is good for the US may not necessarily be bad for us. If anything if the consequences of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) are to be used as a yardstick it is not so rosy for the people of USA for e.g. “outcomes include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada and the related loss of 1 million net U.S. jobs under NAFTA” and “promises made by U.S. corporations like GE, Chrysler and Caterpillar to create specific numbers of American jobs if NAFTA was approved, and reveal government data showing that instead, they fired U.S. workers and moved operations to Mexico.” rujuk http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-wallach/nafta-at-20-one-million-u_b_4550207.html .
      Indeed, the people of USA has more to fear TPPA than Malaysians. I agree Saudara Jebat (sebagai wira) has the responsibility to look at the issue more objectively.
      Kopi Cap Hang Tuah berjaya bertahan walaupun mendapat persaingan sengit dari kopi keluaran pengusaha keturunan Cina.

      Like

  3. Pingback: What is the TPPA, according to the Americans | ajai62

  4. Pingback: Ketuanan Kepala Hotak Senyap-Senyap Pi Jual Negara : Statement by President Obama On The Signing Of The TPPA. | Berita Malaysia

  5. You said:

    “Congratulations to all the 11 nations in Asia Pacific that are on the verge of looking after the Americans’ interests and well being.”

    I say: Congratulations to all the 11 nations in Asia Pacific for reaching a consensus that will have far reaching impact in enhancing trade and improving the economy of your people in the years to come. My reason:
    1. First of all it was not even an initiative originated by the USA. It has its beginnings in agreements between Singapore, New Zealand and Brunei. Indeed its expansion to include countries of the Pacific Rim is an idea mooted by ASEAN. Negotiations between nations equate to discussion between governments. It is too far-fetched to insinuate that the 10 other nations are coerced into accepting the terms laid by the USA. Give some credit to Tok Pa perhaps the most respected minister in the Malaysian cabinet. Refer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership
    2. What Obama said about the USA is equally applicable to Malaysia (or any of the 9 other countries). Just substitute the name of the country from America to Malaysia and it still rings true.
    i. “levelling the playing field for [Malaysian] workers and businesses, so we can export more products stamped Made in [Malaysia] all over the world that support higher-paying jobs here at home.
    ii. When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders,
    iii. “In fact, exports played an indispensable role in” [the prosperity of Malaysia]
    iv. “The more we sell abroad, the more higher-paying jobs we support here at home.”
    v. “will eliminate over 18,000 taxes various countries put on Made-in-[Malaysia] products”
    vi. “an agreement that reflects [Malaysia’s values] and gives our workers the fair shot at success they deserve.”
    3. The main thrust of TPPA is the removal or reduction of tariffs something looked forward to by exporters of every country. On top of that, when importing, goods from participating countries will be given preference. Malaysia, since time immemorial, has been a trading nation. Our prosperity is gained through our uncanny ability to export products. It has enabled us to have almost zero unemployment and in fact provide work for our neighbours as well. The USA had relied too much on its internal economy, hence the need for pivotal push felt by Obama. By the way we sell more goods to the USA compared to purchases from it. Refer https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5570.html . We are never scared of opening our markets to imports from any country. The evidence for this can be seen on the shelves of our shops. If any country would benefit from TPPA, it is Malaysia.

    Like

    • Unless if you have in your possession the exact agreement of our TPPA, which by the way is being kept secret from the public, all you have is mere assertions and conjunctions. The US has publicised theirs. Why do we need to wait another month to see ours? Why do we, the rakyat have to settle for vague statements from our ministers?

      For instance in this article – http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/business/2015/10/08/pretty-photos-small-companies-how-the-white-house-is-selling-tpp/ in the 2nd last paragraph, it clearly said that countries like Malaysia will abolish its sin tax/tariff tax so that American beer can go in our market.
      We find it odd to see some people say “wait for the contents before criticising TTPA”. But then why do people are saying good things about it too when they themselves do not know its contents? Thank you.

      Like

      • Not enough details to make a judgement? You actually referred to the document released by US government entitled “Summary of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement” in your subsequent post, the URL being:
        https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2015/october/summary-trans-pacific-partnership. The document contains a preamble and describes the gist of various chapters of what have been agreed in fair detail. I list the headings here:
        Key Features, Scope, Setting Regional Trade Rules. Initial Provisions and General Definitions, Trade in Goods, Textiles and Apparel , Rules of Origin, Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Trade Remedies, Investment, Cross-Border Trade in Services, Financial Services, Temporary Entry for Business Persons, Telecommunications, Electronic Commerce, Government Procurement, Competition Policy, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and Designated Monopolies, Intellectual Property, . Labour, Environment, Cooperation and Capacity Building, Competitiveness and Business Facilitation, Development, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Regulatory Coherence, Transparency and Anti-Corruption, Administrative and Institutional Provisions, Dispute Settlement, Exceptions, and Final Provisions
        Does your objection relate to the concept, spirit, objectives, policies, scope, content, and rules of implementation or to the operational details? The former is out there to see and read. The latter is yet to be worked out (for a good reason). The whole idea of a free trade agreement is to remove tariffs. If the people of Malaysia want to buy beer from any of the other ten countries there would be no import tax. If they do not want to buy nobody can force them to do so. There is such a thing as anti-dumping laws. But it does not mean beer will be cheap, there is GST (on all beers equally).

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        • How do you know on Malaysia’s part there will be no import tax or sin tax for American beer? Like us, you are basing this on the TPPA according to the Americans. Where is our summary of the TPPA? Maybe alcoholic drinks is exempted from TPPA agreement with Malaysia. Problem is the secrecy in not giving out info to the public. Imagine when this story about american alcohol can be cheaper in Malaysia than any other European brands is known to the malay muslim masses. Can you imagine the outcry? All because we keep our TPPA a secret. Why? Is there something to hide? America certainly have nothing to hide in giving away the summary content. The Malaysian public on the other hand, have no clue as to what is in store for them. Everything is in bits and pieces. For instance, Tok Pa yesterday suddenly said Petronas and Khazanah is mostly exempted from TPPA. And will discuss this with their respective BOD members.
          http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-state-fund-petronas-mostly-exempted-from-tpp-says-minister
          How about Ekuinas? MKLand? Pos Malaysia? Gamuda? SMEs? Like we said earlier, if you don’t know the contents of our TPPA, please don’t be quick to be positive about it. We don’t even have the summary of it, let alone the details. This article is about the TPPA according to the Americans anyway. Did you read point 17 of the US TPPA summary regarding the SOEs? Not looking good for our SOEs (PNB, MAS, Prasarana etc) if we take their version of TPPA into consideration. Perhaps when we finally have gotten the details by the TPPA minister, we shall discuss further. Thank you.

          Like

          • You said yourself

            “it [FMT] clearly said that countries like Malaysia will abolish its sin tax/tariff tax so that American beer can go in our market.”

            Beer is beer (to the Muslim) wherever it comes from. The Vietnamese beer is likely to be cheaper. I can afford to buy beer but then I don’t drink it.

            America certainly have nothing to hide in giving away the summary content.

            Will our summary of the same document be substantially different from that of the American’s. Unlikely. They are just faster off the starting block (ala Carl Lewis) or on the draw (like John Wayne). With regards SOEs (PNB, MAS, Prasarana Pos Malaysia etc) (point 17) “Parties agree to ensure that their SOEs make commercial purchases and sales on the basis of commercial considerations, except when doing so would be inconsistent with any mandate under which an SOE is operating that would require it to provide public services.” It says SOEs cannot choose a particular company to buy from and discriminate others but choice should be on “commercial considerations” e.g. open tender. “Parties agree to not cause adverse effects to the interests of other TPP Parties in providing non-commercial assistance to SOEs”. I take it to mean that governments can assist their SOEs but not to the detriment of business organizations of other participating countries. If we believe in healthy competition, these two terms seem fair.

            “Perhaps when we finally have gotten the details by the TPPA minister, we shall discuss further.”

            I fully agree with you and others who say “wait for the contents before criticizing TTPA”! Perhaps your congratulations is a bit too early.

            Like

            • Yes, if you believe in healthy competition where foreign companies can fight along local companies vying contracts for say, a health consultation services, then this is indeed a very fair term of the TPPA. Or, if we believe that having cheaper tobacco or liquor products in the market because it will be fairer to those foreign companies in getting more profits for themselves, to the detriment of lesser tax income for this government, then we are happy that the government will sign it. What we have now is the contents of TPPA as described by the US. And it seems it is good for the US. Will it be good for Malaysia? At this point, with the lack of transparency practised by Malaysia, we will never know. With the latest leak of TPPA by wikileaks yesterday, the situation is grim. Thank you.

              Like

              • As I said earlier, as far as the trade balance in concerned Malaysia exports more than we import. With less tariff we will export more. Why are you harping on tobacco and liquor? They make up only a small portion of imports/exports. From your statement “Imagine when this story about american alcohol can be cheaper in Malaysia than any other European brands is known to the malay muslim masses. Can you imagine the outcry?” all I see is you playing the religious agenda.

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