23 April 2014
With talks faltering in Japan and support flagging in Malaysia, Obama’s dream of trade liberalisation nears make-or-break moment
As US President Barack Obama embarks on a four-nation Asian tour, his effort to push the economic side of the US “rebalancing” towards the Asia-Pacific faces hurdles.
Negotiations with Japan on a 12-nation transpacific trade liberalisation deal are bogged down, while support for it is waning in Malaysia, which could pull out altogether under pressure from business concerns.
Analysts say the negotiations, which are already behind schedule, run the risk of a collapse if no major agreement is reached in the next few months.
… Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and a former government adviser, said opposition from the ethnic Malay businesses, a key source of political support, would be a major obstacle.
IDSS / RSIS / Print
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