• YB Wong Chen

“Fast tracking” TPPA

Now, some news on the TPPA. The US Congress will start considering today to give Obama “fast track” to finalise the TPPA. A vote on fast track authority will take place either end of this week or next.


Obama is “strangely” very pro-TPPA and this is contrary to mainstream democrats' ideology. But then again democrats of today are not of the old, they too are in the pockets of multinational and Big Business. Such is American politics today, whichever side gets elected, the bankers and industrialists win.


What does it mean to us in Malaysia?

Obama says that America is going to win big on this deal. What he means is American Big Business is going to win big. If America wins big then surely Malaysia will lose big. There is no win-win in trade. Someone has to win and the other has to lose.


The fight against TPPA has roots in America. Traditional democrats like Elizabeth Warren believes the low-income workers in America will lose big because more American factories will close and move to other countries. But Obama doesn’t seem to care, as long as Big Business wins big.


Here is a simplified scenario: American big businesses will move low tech factories to Malaysia to increase their market presence. They will close down their low tech factories in US, making millions of poor income Americans jobless. Is this good for Malaysia?


If we want low tech employments, then yes it is good for Malaysia. But who will get these jobs? Indonesians and Bangladeshis. And what impact will this have on our own low tech factories? They will face fierce competition from American companies and goods. Inevitably, some of our companies will in turn, close our factories. This will be a loss to our national income.


Some liberal neo-cons will say that is good, to have competition to ensure survival of the fittest. That the TPPA is some form of “tough love”. But you can’t pit an ant against an elephant and say, may the best man win. All industrialised country in the world today built their market dominance on basic protectionism. Now that they have reached a dominant state, they now speak of “free trade” to increase and cement their global dominance.

Are we ready for TPPA? Ask yourself how great the Malaysian economy is today compared to 1995. Shouldn’t we first reform internally and strengthen ourselves. Why sign the TPPA when we are at our weakest?