30 October, Kuala Lumpur – The government has proposed to proceed with a free trade treaty with the United States if the latter remains detached from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said he made the proposal to US Congress members during his recent visit to the White House.
He said it is important for Malaysia to continue bilateral relations with US via trade and investment since it is the world’s most powerful economy.
“Malaysia and the US are committed to continuing with the dialogue in discussing trade and investment issues through the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
“In regard to the TPPA, the Malaysian delegation and I had (discussions) with US Congress members and proposed that it rejoins the other member countries in the agreement to make it a success.
“If (the dialogue) is not successful, I proposed that the TPPA model be used for other bilateral trade agreements like the Free Trade Agreement, which has been halted since 2008,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Najib was responding to a question from Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) on the outcome of his visit to the US in September.
He said during his visit, he mainly discussed bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, security and defence with President Donald Trump.
Najib said he prioritised dialogues on issues regarding trade and investments in security as well as measures to combat terrorism.
He also told the House about the “special treatment” he received from Trump during his visit.
“I received an invitation from Trump to play golf. I was even ushered to the car by the president. The special treatment that I received was not received by any others previously,” Najib said, in reply to a supplementary question by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Permatang Pauh).
She asked why Najib had not received any invitation to stay at Blair House during his US visit, unlike Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and whether Najib had paid for the visit with public funds.
“I did not need to pay anything for the invitation,” he said, adding that it was a petty question.
– The Sun