NEW YORK – Given the pre-election rhetoric by Donald Trump firmly opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a foreign policy wonk says that this agreement may never see the light of the day – certainly not in its present form.
Speaking during a panel discussion Thursday night entitled “President Trump: The Asia Inbox” at the Asia Society in New York, Nicholas Burns, a former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said he was skeptical about the fate of the TPP under President Trump.
In reply to a question by this correspondent on whether the TPP had any chances of passing under Trump, amid widespread concern among the remaining 11 signatory member countries over the accord’s fate, he said Trump appeared to be ‘deadly serious’ about stopping the trade pact.
“He (Trump) appears to be deadly serious and he appears to believe fervently that the TPP is against American national interests.
“I think that the present version (of the TPP) is dead and the best we can hope for is some kind of renegotiation among the 12 (member) countries.
“I believe this is high on (Japanese) Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe’s list when he comes here to New York next week…this (stopping the TPP) is a great mistake, but I think that he (Trump) is going to carry it through this great mistake,” Burns told Bernama.
He said that Trump, who will have a Republican-controlled congress, had expressed stiff opposition to the TPP and other free trade agreements (FTAs), calling them ‘disasters’ and ‘job killers’.
He said that if the US pulled away from FTAs like the TPP and its leading role in the ‘liberal global order’, it “will have lost, for a generation, strategic advantage to China.”
He added that Trump would likely have advisors telling him these things.
The question will be whether he would listen.
“We can’t answer a lot of these questions until we see him in action,” he said. – BERNAMA