Obama administration gives up hope of enacting TPP deal

Washington, Nov 12 (IANS) The Obama administration has given up all hope of enacting the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, just days after a surprise victory of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in US election, local media reported.

Republican congressional leaders had made clear that they wouldn’t consider the 12-nation Pacific trade deal in the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term, the Wall Street Journal quoted US officials as saying on Friday, as Trump had stood against the deal.

Trump had broken from the longstanding Republican orthodoxy in favour of free trade and embraced a protectionist trade stance throughout his presidential campaign, Xinhua news agency reported.

Trump had vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other existing major trade deals, and promised to never sign massive trade agreements like the TPP, which he said would “destroy” US manufacturing, as part of an effort to restore American jobs.

The Obama administration had lobbied hard for months in the hope of approving the TPP deal, if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had won.

The TPP deal involves Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It was formally signed by ministers from these 12 countries in February after more than five years of negotiations.

The TPP now undergoes a two-year ratification period in which at least six countries, which account for 85 per cent of the combined gross domestic production of the 12 TPP countries, must approve the final text for the deal to be implemented.

If the United States, the largest economy among TPP participating countries, does not ratify the TPP, the Pacific trade deal cannot enter into force.

–IANS

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