Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Amendments to laws in relation to TPPA to be made by year end, says minister

All amendments to laws and regulations in relation to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) may be completed by year end, the Dewan Rakyat heard today. Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said this would enable Malaysia to carry out its obligations and commitments in the TPPA prior to ratification. "A committee chaired by the attorney-general and involving the relevant ministries and agencies held a meeting on February 5 to identify the amendments and the work programme," he told opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who asked when the government planned to ratify TPPA and the effects of the agreement if the US Congress ratified it. Mustapa was quoted as saying that 26 amendments would to be made to 17 laws if Malaysia decides to ratify the trade pact. The amendments can be divided into three main categories of laws under the Customs Department to establish rules of origin, intellectual property and labour. On February 4, Mustapa represented the Malaysian government to sign the TPPA in Auckland, New Zealand. Under the provisions of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) passed by the US Congress on June 29, 2015, the Congress can approve or reject the TPPA without any amendments. Mustapa said according to the TPA, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has to submit a report on the economic impact of the TPPA 105 days after it was signed. "Usually, after receiving the ITC report, the US president will table the Implementing Bill to Congress which has 90 days to reach a decision. "However, the TPA does not set any time frame for the president to table the Implementing Bill to Congress." Asked when TPPA will be ratified by the US, Mustapa said it depended on the US president and its passing by Congress. – Bernama, March 8, 2016.]]>

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