In the articles Singapore PM: Rejecting TPP Means War, Shifting Alliances in Pacific More Certain, the author examines how Singapore views the TTP and as well as how Singapore anticipates the US will sign on to the TTP, thus avoiding possible future conflict in the pacific. These observations stem from the political meeting between President Obama and the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong in August of this year, where Prime Minister Lee spoke at the White House about the TTP, and how not passing it could be potentially disastrous.
The TTP is a 12-nation trade agreement, which primarily has stalled out in the US congress. Nonetheless, president Obama, a stark supporter of the TTP, and believes it will get passed. Singapore’s Prime Minister pointed out that in the next 50 years, the major superpowers in the world can work toward interdependence and peaceful cooperation or towards rivalry and a higher risk of conflict. Lee also pointed out that the reason there is manageable relationships between countries in the Pacific is because of mutually beneficial trade. On the flip side, Americans are worried about localized job losses because of an agreement like the TTP, and Obama acknowledged this, though he did not give specifics on how such people will be helped should the agreement pass.
Singapore views the TTP through a Confucian mindset in that the trade agreement is about relationships between countries and how these countries balance their obligations and benefits of the agreement. In the same thread, Lee likened the US to a bride in this relationship, in that if the bride does not show up, many countries will be hurt. With both US potential presidential candidates against the TTP, it will be interesting to see what happens. Surprisingly and optimistically, Lee ended the conference with a statement regarding Singapore’s previous dealings with US Democrats and Republicans, noting that relations have been good with either party in power.
Do you think that actual war could break out if the TTP is not passed?
Does the US have the most to lose, or gain, from the TTP?
Do you think that the presidential candidate elected will change his/her stance on the TTP once in office?