President-elect Donald Trump said the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement on his first days in the White House.
“On trade, I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the TPP, a potential disaster for our country. Instead we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industries back on American shores,” he said in a video message posted this morning (Vietnam time), outlining his first goals when he takes office in January.
The TPP was signed by 12 countries in February this year. The countries included the US and 11 other countries—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Together, they account for 40 per cent of the world economy. In order for the TPP to take effect in a country, it has to be ratified by the legislative branch of that country.
No member country has made any moves to ratify the TPP, except for Japan. On November 10, right after Donald Trump had won the election to become the next US President, Japan's House of Representatives passed the trade deal. However, on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the TPP would be meaningless without the involvement of the US.
On November 11, the Obama administration said they will not bring the trade deal forward during the lame-duck session.
“As a result, Vietnam is not putting the TPP forward for approval by the National Assembly yet, either,” said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 17, in his answer to the National Assembly’s question regarding the future of the TPP after the US election. “But we remain firm in our wish to join,” he said.
Still, according to the Vietnamese prime minister, “We have other free trade agreements. Regardless of whether we join the TPP, we will continue on the path of global economic integration.”
In opinions sent to VIR after the US election, experts are also of the opinion that Vietnam has plenty of growth potential left outside of the TPP, because of the stable macroeconomic condition of the country, the continuing reforms, and the boost coming from other trade deals.