Vietnam is committed to reforms with or without Pacific trade deal

By VnExpress   January 24, 2017 | 09:00 am PT
Vietnam is committed to reforms with or without Pacific trade deal
Vietnam's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh. Photo by VnExpress/Quy Doan
The country will continue reforms to fulfill its commitments under existing and future free trade agreements.

Vietnam on Tuesday issued a statement following U.S.'s official withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh said for the past six years, the 12 member nations have made every effort to finalize negotiations to sign the TPP.

"TPP, if implemented, would benefit all member countries," Binh said. "The deal would not only create a new driving force for economic and trade relations among the members but also help bring about stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific."

Vietnam considers participation in the TPP and other free trade agreements (FTAs) as a step towards greater economic integration in the region. The Southeast Asian nation will therefore continue reforms to fulfill its commitments under the FTAs it has already signed and those in the pipeline, Binh said.

Fulfilling a campaign pledge to end American involvement in the 2015 pact, Trump signed on Monday an executive order in the Oval Office pulling the United States out of the 12-nation TPP.

Trump, who wants to boost U.S. manufacturing, said he would seek one-on-one trade deals with countries that would allow the United States to quickly terminate them in 30 days "if somebody misbehaves."

Australia and New Zealand said on Tuesday they hope to salvage the TPP by encouraging China and other Asian nations to join the trade pact.

New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said he had talked with a number of TPP-member ministers at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week and he expected they would meet over the coming months.

Malaysia's trade minister said negotiators from the remaining TPP countries would be in "constant communication" to decide the best way forward.

Meanwhile, Japanese Economy Minister Nobuteru Ishihara told reporters that there is no change to Japan’s view that free trade is the source of economic growth.

Japan has led the push for the partnership, which also includes Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.

Related news:

Trump pulls US out of Pacific trade deal, loosening Asia ties

Asian TPP nations seek to salvage trade accord after US exit

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