KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 – Malaysia has still the option of withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if the government finds that it has more disadvantages than benefits. Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said Malaysia could do so, despite having signed the TPPA, by giving a six-month notice to the TPPA Commission as enshrined under Article 30.6 of the trade pact.
“If the TPPA bring more disadvantages than benefits, Malaysia can bring it to the attention of the members through the Commission for discussions on a resolution or assist the country in overcoming the problems. If Malaysia still feels the proposed solutions are not tenable, we have the ultimate choice of withdrawing from the TPPA,” he said in reply to a question from Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang) in the Dewan Rakyat here Monday.
Ahmad Maslan said the TPPA Commission would be created after the TPPA comes into force in 2018. He said the TPPA also has a review clause to overcome problems faced by member countries, which will come into force three years after the trade pact is effective, and at least every five years thereafter.
Ahmad Maslan denied that the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause under the TPPA will only benefit foreign investors in the country. He said the clause was necessary and important as it protects Malaysia’s bigger investors already in the country and expanding in TPP member countries.