Lima, Peru (ANTARA News) – Indonesia has proposed a new cooperation forum of ASEAN-Pacific Alliance as an alternative to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the continuation of which is doubted with U.S. president elect Donald Trumps pledging protectionism.
“If TPP failed to come to reality why not ASEAN and Pacific Alliance establish relations. It would be better than TPP,” Indonesian Vice President M Jusuf Kalla said on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum here on Saturday.
Pacific Alliance groups Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Colombia. Among the four countries Colombia is not APEC member.
TPP was established by a number of Asia Pacific country, but not including Indonesia, although the country has expressed interest in joining it.
TPP is a trade agreement among twelve of the Pacific Rim countries notably not including China. The finalized proposal was signed on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand, concluding seven years of negotiations.
It is currently awaiting ratification to enter into force. The 30 chapters of the agreement aim to “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in the signatories countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.”
The TPP contains measures to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade, and establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
The TPP began as an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) signed by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore in 2005. Beginning in 2008, additional countries joined the discussion for a broader agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam, bringing the total number of countries participating in the negotiations to twelve. Current trade agreements between participating countries, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, will be reduced to those provisions that do not conflict with the TPP or provide greater trade liberalization than the TPP.
The United States government considers the TPP a companion agreement to the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a broadly similar agreement between the U.S. and the European Union.
Now, however, doubt is growing about the continuation of TPP with the United States elected Trump as their leader. Trump has hinted disapproval for a number of international organizations including TPP.
“All countries braced for the change in the U.S. leadership, but most countries still believed the United States would not change,” Kalla said.
In the APEC summit, Kalla took part in the plenary session of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
Before the plenary session Indonesia, China, New Zealand and Brunei was given the responsibility for formulate program for strengthening small, micro and medium enterprises.
In the APEC forum, Indonesia also proposed equal treatment of products like palm oil, rattan, coffee, and rubber with other trade commodities exempted from import duty.
“The prices of farm products should not be too low to prevent wider spread of poverty,” Kalla said.