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Singapore says TPP cannot come into effect, turns to other regional trade initiatives

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SINGAPORE says that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) cannot come into effect in its current state now, and the Republic will be turning its attention towards other regional trade initiatives.

SINGAPORE says that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) cannot come into effect in its current state now, and the Republic will be turning its attention towards other regional trade initiatives.

Singapore now looks to "study the new balance of benefits" with other TPP members in this new landscape, said a spokesman of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in response to The Business Times' queries.

US President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to withdraw the world's largest economy from the mega 12-member trade deal.

"The US has indicated that it will pull out of the TPP agreement. Without the participation of the US, the TPP agreement as signed cannot come into effect," said the MTI spokesman.

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This statement from Singapore comes even as other TPP member countries are reported to still view its passage as possible.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had discussed TPP prospects with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, and also spoken with the leaders of New Zealand and Singapore.

In its response to BT on Tuesday afternoon, the MTI spokesman had said that the TPP cannot come into effect as it stands now.

Instead, MTI is looking at other regional integration initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the proposal for a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific.

"Singapore will continue to participate in these initiatives," said the spokesman. "We will have to discuss the way forward with the other TPP partners. Each of the partners will have to carefully study the new balance of benefits."

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