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?