Sham of Consultation on the TPPA

The Consumers Association of Penang views that the consultation session conducted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to get inputs on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a sham because the Ministry has failed to consider our numerous calls to withdraw from the TPPA.

Many organisations in Malaysia and around the world have voiced out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which is being negotiated by 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The countries currently negotiating the TPPA are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, USA and Vietnam.

We have raised a number of concerns and red lines to the Malaysian government but these are yet to be adequately addressed. The assurances that the government would not agree to provisions that are against national interests, are mere assurances.  How would we know what is being negotiated on our behalf when the draft text is not revealed? Moreover, the purported benefits of the TPPA are still unsubstantiated.

Now MITI has invited CAP to attend another consultation on 14th February in Kuala Lumpur because a meeting with TPP negotiating countries ministers will be held in Singapore end of February 2014.  The invitation was only sent by fax to CAP on 11th February at 17.13.  Besides the short notice, we are dismayed that the issues that CAP had raised in our letters and previous consultations have not been taken into serious consideration. Hence, CAP will be boycotting this consultation.

In addition, CAP’s latest analysis shows that the costs of the TPPA will far outweigh the benefits. In the goods chapter of the TPPA alone, the costs outweigh the benefits by more than 6.5 times.  Furthermore, Malaysia already has FTAs with seven of the other TPPA countries (except Canada, Mexico, Peru and the USA) which reduces or removes their tariffs on Malaysian exports even further. So why do we even need the TPPA? A summary of the analysis is attached.

In view of the issues raised above, we urge the Malaysian government to withdraw from the TPPA negotiations immediately and do not sign on to the TPPA.

Press Statement – 13 February 2014