Sign up | Log in



Home  >>  Daily News  >>  Malaysia News  >>  Trade  >>  Malaysia: US will scrap trade talks
NEWS UPDATES 22 November 2009

Malaysia: US will scrap trade talks

Related Stories

November 18, 2009
Malaysian exporters unaware of FTA’s importance

November 14, 2009
Malaysia’s natural rubber production rose in September

November 12, 2009
Malaysia’s biodiesel exports defy NGO attacks

October 29, 2009
FTA to boost Malaysia-New Zealand trade

July 28, 2009
China expected to fund Thai-Malaysia pipeline

Malaysia said Wednesday that Washington had indicated it will abandon a bilateral free-trade deal under negotiation since 2006, and will instead work towards a regional trade pact, AFP reported.

"It was made very clear to us that bilateral FTAs are not a priority for the US," Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed told reporters. "Their focus is now on a regional approach."

US-Malaysia trade talks which began in March 2006 have dragged on for eight rounds, bogged down in sensitive areas including Malaysia's system of affirmative action for Muslim Malays who dominate the multi-racial population.

In particular, the US had sought access to lucrative Malaysian state contracts that favour Malays and indigenous groups, or "bumiputras" as they are known. Mustapa said US Trade Representative Ron Kirk informed him of the US thinking on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum in Singapore last week.

"It is confirmed they are not keen. They have told us verbally. It is good as gone. (But) we have nothing formal yet. But it is as good as formal," he said in a briefing. Mustapa said Malaysia was disappointed by the US decision as both countries had put in substantial work over several years.

"We are keen for an FTA (as it provides) business opportunities. We are disappointed," he said. Malaysia's economy is largely export-driven and the United States is a key customer of Malaysia's electrical and electronics goods, which account for about 40 percent of total exports.

Mustapa said the US instead wanted to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), currently signed by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. The obscure trade bloc was brought to prominence when President Barack Obama said last week that the US would "engage" with the grouping.

"I will tell cabinet that the US does not want a FTA but wants TPP," Mustapa said. Summit host Singapore has said it hopes Washington's accession to the deal will galvanise other economies to participate, allowing the TPP to form the seed for a massive free-trade zone covering all of Apec's 21 members. The US embassy was not immediately able to comment on Mustapa's comments. 


Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below 





1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand