TPP Ratification Unlikely Under Trump, Singapore Unhappy

In the article Singapore disappointed TPP is unlikely to be passed under Donald Trump: PM Lee, the author seeks to examine Singapore’s stance on the TPP given that Donald Trump is now the president elect in the United States.  As I’ve written before, the US is the pivotal player in the TPP deal.  If the US does not ratify the TPP, it is highly unlikely the deal will be ratified in other countries, including Singapore.  Singapore has been a stark supporter of the TPP, and it’s not surprising that with the prospect of the TPP fading, Singapore has voiced public disappointment.

As another indication that the world was watching the US election, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee indicated he was well aware of Donald Trump’s stance on the TPP.  Lee’s exact word were that Trump “had no sympathy for the TPP at all.”  Singapore’s main reason for its pro-TPP stance is that it would to enjoy lower tariff and non-tariff barriers for both goods and services, but Singapore is also a very small player in the grand TPP scheme.  The TPP accounts for 40% of global trade amongst its participating countries.  PM Lee has also noted previously that not ratifying the TPP would make the US lose credibility with countries around the world.

Moving forward, it looks like Singapore’s stance on the TPP is all or nothing.  When PM Lee was asked if the deal could be amended to add new countries like Russia or China, he responded that the deal would be a completely new animal.  He called such a deal a “new exercise,” a strong indication that the deal as it is right now is the only way Singapore would like to see the deal ratified.  As President elect Trump begins to enact his policy, the world will be watching with interest to see how deals such as the TPP created under the Obama administration will be handled.  If Trump does keep any of his campaign promises, it will not be surprising if the TPP is completely scrapped.

 

What countries will be involved if a new TPP style deal is crafted?

Will there be significant global fallout if the TPP is not ratified in the US?

How much consideration should Trump give to smaller countries like Singapore as compared to the larger countries not in the agreement such as Russia and China?

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/singapore-disappointed-tpp-is-unlikely-to-be-passed-under-donald-trump-pm-lee

 

Schoolyard Brawl

In a recent article on the website, yahoo.com, they discuss the hostile environment in the Japanese Diet over the ratification of the TPP. Japanese lawmakers recently voted to ratify the TPP, but the sensitive top quickly dissolved into and Jerry Springer episode as fights broke out on the committee floor. Many lawmakers disagreed with many of the provisions. While the deal will lower many of the tariffs for Japanese exports, the open markets will create more competition for Japanese farmers and businesses. Will more fights break out as they try to reconcile their differences? Will the deal get ratified? Will other countries show the same hostility toward each other as they attempt to ratify the deal?

 

Tuft’s Study Predicts Negative Effects of TPP For Canada

 

In the article TPP’s Economic Impact Will Be Fewer Jobs, More Inequality, New Study Says, the author seeks to examine a study released at the beginning of this year regarding the TPP.  Interestingly, the study actually predicts a shrinking of the US and Japanese economies ten years after the TPP would come into being and a very modest growth in the Canadian economy.  Overall, the study claims that job losses will occur due to the TPP due to shifting production to goods for exportation as well increased competition.

The TTP would encompass 40% of the world’s economy so it’s not surprising that competition could get very fierce given new areas of trade for many of the countries involved.  The study conducted by Tufts’ Global Development and Environment Institute predicts that Canada’s economy would grow 0.28% as opposed to not being part of the TPP.  This 0.28% equivocates to only $5 billion dollars.  Interestingly, the Tuft’s research contradicts some early research that states there would be bigger benefits to employment and economic growth.  One contradictory study from the Fraser institute has the net benefits being at $9.9 billion for Canada, basically double what the Tuft’s research shows.

One finding the Tufts research that many have argued as a downside to the TPP is the loss of jobs and income inequality created by the TPP.  The amount of income flowing to business owners and shareholders would increase, relatively, while the amount of income flowing to wage earners would shrink, the Tufts study predicts.  A negative impact to income distribution scares many in Canada.  The exact numbers used are a reduction of the labor’s share of the GDP of 0.86%.  It’s important to note that Canada already more unequal than the US when it comes to the labor’s share of the GDP.  It will be interesting to see how Canada interprets conflicting studies about how the TPP will affect it’s economy in the future.

 

The Tuft’s study appears to confirm the fears of everyday citizens in countries that are included in the TPP, do you believe this study is valid?

If Canada does not ratify the TPP, could the results be worse than ratifying it?

If the TPP is scrapped, do you believe a new trade agreement will have to be crafted in its place?

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/01/20/tpp-economic-impact-canada-us_n_9029892.html

TPP: What’s in it for Vietnam?

In this article we will discuss the impact of TPP on Vietnam.

Vietnam is likely to be the biggest winner of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Vietnam’s economy relies largely on exports and TPP slashes an estimated 18,000 tariffs among the dozen participating countries. In a decade, the country’s gross domestic product will be boosted 11 percent and exports may soar 28 percent in the period as companies move factories to the Southeast Asian country.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT- Vietnam’s low-wage economy means a lot of foreign firms would look to relocate their operations here. Key industries for this are- logistics, industrial parks, fisheries and garments.

APPAREL– Reduced import duties in the U.S. and Japan will benefit the country’s apparel manufacturers. Vietnam may have a 50 percent increase in apparel and footwear exports in 10 years, according to the Eurasia Group.

SEAFOOD– Elimination of import taxes on shrimp, squid and tuna, now averaging 6.4 percent-7.2 percent will benefit this industry. However, Vietnam will still face strict rules-of-origin on materials, which could limit these benefits.

GLOBAL COMPETITION– Vietnam’s agricultural industry, particularly livestock, and pharmaceutical companies are expected to struggle with the more efficient global operators.

Current Situation

Overall, the TPP is very favorable for Vietnam; it is aggressively seeking economic partners to balance its relationship with China. However, the agreement still needs to be passed by the governments of the 12 nations. The failure of TPP would leave Vietnam more economically isolated and dependent on China. The uncertainty of the TPP is holding Vietnam from committing to the deal.

Source- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-08/more-shoes-and-shrimp-less-china-reliance-for-vietnam-in-tpp

TPP: What’s in it for Australia?

In this article we will discuss the impact of TPP on Australia.

Over the long term, Australia would probably benefit from increased productivity and access for Australian industry to parts of Asia that are currently closed to it. However, the advantages for Australian consumers are not that obvious.

SUGAR– One of the most lucrative markets that Australia wants access to is America’s sugar consumers but this may be a struggle as the US sugar lobby is very powerful.

DAIRY- The US and New Zealand all want more access to Canada’s milk market, which the government has traditionally restricted supply to thereby keeping prices high.

MEDICINE- Currently, the government sets the highest price and also subsidizes the cost of these medicines. But the US wants the market to be less regulated to benefit new medicine manufacturers.

REGIONAL COOPERATION- Members of the TPP account for nearly 40 per cent of the global GDP and Australia would benefit from being part of the regional supply chain.

Current Situation

Many of the sweeteners that Australia are hoping for, including access to America’s sugar consumers and to Canada’s dairy market, are probably unlikely to happen. This has some National MPs starting a “no sugar, no deal” campaign, which demands Australia abandon negotiations if access to new sugar markets is not included. Also, there is speculation that the US could be using the agreement as a way of limiting China’s expansion. This has triggered a rival Chinese deal, the RCEP, which excludes the US and which Australia is also involved with.

Source- http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/the-transpacific-partnership-agreement-whats-in-it-for-australia/news-story/418aaf44c026a90a6febfc908481c838

Losing Steam

In a recent article on the website, SBS.com, they discuss the dissatisfaction that many Japanese are feeling with the proposed TPP deal. Japan is trying to become the first member nation to ratify the TPP deal in parliament, but are facing growing skepticism by the public. Only a little over one third of the population want to ratify the deal and many more are unsure whether or not this is the course to take with respect to the Japanese economy. Will the deal get done? How might this affect other countries? How will this affect the Japanese economy?

Corruption in the TPP

If you have been following the Trans-Pacific Partnership you will know that it was signed on February 4, 2016 and is now pending ratification before taking effect. After years of negotiation, what happens now? One of the major concerns moving forward is corruption; how to avoid corruption, and how to respond if it takes place. The article “Anti-corruption Measures In The TPP Agreement” (http://www.livingstonintl.com/global-perspectives/anti-corruption-measures-in-the-tpp-agreement/ contains a great summary of the measures both past and present that will assist in this endeavor.

“Confidence in the rule of law is critical for trade and investment to flourish. Corruption, in particular, is an insidious impairment to effective commercial activity and cannot be tolerated as a cost of doing business.” To help combat this potential enemy, the TPP will employ both past and present policies. Among the past policies to be utilized are the:

  • 1977 U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • 1999 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials
  • 2003 United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption

To support these previously instilled practices, the entire 26th chapter of the TPP, titled “Transparency and Anti-Corruption” is dedicated to this same movement. This chapter specifically addresses topics such as:

  • Requiring the publication of laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings
  • Guaranteeing due process
  • Promoting rules against conflicts of interest

It is the hope that the TPP will provide benefits to all countries involved, but its success is dependent on maintain honesty and consistency among all parties involved. As stated in the article, “… the framework for anti-corruption is already in place within the TPP. When ratified and enacted, it will be up to the Parties to eliminate corruption as a trade barrier.”