Trump, Tuilaepa and the TPP


By Nanai Taofiga Laveitiga Tuiletufuga
( Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi is playing the wait and see game as global business mogul’s fear that the United States decision to quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may eventually trigger a global trade war.
US President-elect Donald Trump has said that he will withdraw the country from the controversial TPP on his first day in office, in two months time.
President-elect Trump’s threaten has not gone unnoticed by Prime Minister Tuilaepa.
“With or without the TPP, there will be little or no impact on Samoa,” Tuilaepa told the media.
“The TPP was basically orchestrated by Obama, (outgoing US President Barrack Obama) to keep China out from Pacific trade.

d2“With the People’s Republic economy booming, the United States was uncomfortable having China in the Pacific as a formidable trading partner with the islands.
“Now that President-elect Trump is in the scene, he wants to sever ties with TPP.
“On paper, it is damning for the Pacific Islands but the reality is if it does happen it will open the gateway for China to engage the Pacific Islands and fill the vacuum.
“All in all, there is nothing more that we can do but sit and wait.
“After all, we don’t have the natural trading resources as our Pacific cousins for instance Papua New Guinea to feel any major trading impact.”
But if business is feeling bereft, TPP opponents are celebrating.
Not that they are hanging pictures of Donald Trump on their walls in thanks.
New Zealand’s Green Party MP and TPP opponent Barry Coates said public awareness doomed TPP, not the maverick billionaire.
“Governments (have) lost the confidence of the public in these agreements that they were negotiating, and we think that means there needs to be a change in the kind of trade rules that we develop,” Coates is quoted by Radio New Zealand International.
A prominent TPP critic, Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, said many other trade deals, such as RCEP and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), were based on the same model that enriched corporates at the expense of the public.
“There hasn’t been so much attention paid to other negotiations,” said Prof Kelsey.
“There is a lot more work that needs to be done so people can understand the links between all these mega deals that are premised on the same model.”