(a) Donald Trump has promised to pull the US out of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his very first day in office. -(b) Singapore’s prime minister on Trans-Pacific Partnership: ‘How can anybody believe in US anymore?
Posted on November 26th, 2016
By M D P DISSANAYAKE
President Mahinda Rajapakse has established his name as a visionary leader. Whilst fighting war against Tamil Terrorists, he laid the ground work for the economic development. In 2009 The Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel was formed, empowering the Institute to train work force needed by the sector. The Act also allowed the award of Diplomas and Degrees at Graduate and Post Graduate Levels. By 2014 we have reaped the benefits of this long term strategy. Sri Lanka’s innovative Apparel Designs became an instant Export Revenue lottery. We are now one of the world best Apparel Design makers. By 2014 our Export Revenue reached US$8 billion, of which 40% represented export revenue from Apparel and Textile sector. It must be acknowledged Messrs Basil Rajapakse and Rishad Badurdeen made significant contributions in their respective ministerial portfolios by carrying out the policies of Prez Rajapakse. The textile handicraft designing project commenced operations in the Liya Abhiman Designs Centre at Moragoda, Gampaha in March 2013.
TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP(TPP) AGREEMENT 2016:
After 6 years of stiff negotiations, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam signed the TPP to bring certain economic benefits to member countries. This cartel agreement signed in Auckland last year was designed to control 26% of world trade. China and India strategically preferred not to join TPP. Sri Lanka was not even considered. The intended main benefits of the TPP were:
- Tariff liberalization within member nations
- Job creation, reduce labour costs and reduced production costs amongst member nations;
iii. Distinct capital benefits resulting from competitive tariffs and protection of intellectual property rights.
The critics pointed out numerous disadvantages of TPP:
- Even within member countries there are currency manipulators. United States’ perceived benefit of cheaper export products were nullified by currency manipulations by others. Giants such as China and India who did not sign the TPP, (also well known as currency manipulators), to their advantage to devalue their currencies and accelerate export revenue. Currency manipulation was not prohibited under the TPP agreement;
- Ability to bypass US law under the TPP, allowing multi national companies to challenge US laws and safeguards. In fact they can seek compensation from US for attempting to safeguard US job and working families;
- Small businesses were not properly protected under the TPP;
- Weak rules of TPP benefitted China, India and other non member countries. The expected growth in US Auto market therefore became a day dream;
- TPP threatens previously available access to affordable medicine as a consequence of creation of new monopoly, which allows the pharmaceutical companies to interfere with US government cost saving policies;
President Obama was a LAZY PRESIDENT. He did not understand the nature of business. During the recently concluded Presidential Election, Donald Trump identified these major areas and pledged to pull US out of TPP membership. As a disciplined leader and a man well above politics, on 22 November he declared ” On trade, on the first day in Office, I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country. Instead we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals, that will bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”
ALERTNESS OF SINGAPORE ON US PULL OUT OF TPP:
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsian Long said reopening negotiations wouldn’t be easy. “If you sign a fresh agreement, you have to go through it again. We haven’t crossed that bridge yet. We’ll cross it if and when we come to that.”
The Hon. Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsian Long, is proving to be a great visionary leader in Asia today. He, like his father, First Prime Minister of Singapore Great Mr Lee Kuna Yew, always looked for alternatives for his country, when economic and social threats beyond his control, were likely to undermine his goals for Singapore. If and when TPP is dead, Singapore Prime Minister and his team will seize the opportunity and will come out as winners, without damaging US-SINGAPORE relationship.
The Yahapalana Regime was fortunate to own a fully established, export revenue making Apparel Industry, rigorously promoted by Prez Mahinda Rajapakse. But, there are serious doubts whether the current Regime has any vision or able leaders to carry forward the hard work of former Prez.
When TPP was signed in 2016, Dr Harsha De Silva was very disappointed. “ Vietnam also has joined TPP and with that Sri Lanka may lose competitiveness in the global economy,” De Silva said. He went on to say: “We have already seen that foreign investors who were ready to invest and investors who are investing in Sri Lanka currently are moving towards Vietnam due to the benefits as a TPP country. We will review out situation as soon as possible.”
Now TPP is almost dead and buried, is it possible for Dr Harsha De Silva to develop plans and strategies to protect the industry.
DONALD TRUMP AND SURVIVAL OF WORLD LEADERS:
Aggressive action plans of Prez Elect Donald Trump need similarly aggressive and visionary leaders in the world. Today we can only find the Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong as a perfect match for Trump. We need to bring back Prez Mahinda Rajapakse to move Sri Lanka forward as well.