By MalaysiaKini (6 January 2016)
Analysis by a top audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), shows that the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on growth may be overblown, PKR MP Wong Chen said.
"The conclusion on the matter is clear: the PWC cost-benefit report does not support any significant macroeconomic justification of signing the TPPA," Wong said at a press conference in Petaling Jaya today.
Wong and his officers perused the voluminous report which came out after the TPPA text was finalised last year, following lengthy negotiations among 12 countries.
Wong said PWC's analysis shows GDP and exports would only grow an extra 0.22 percent at most, with TPPA.
PWC came to this conclusion by comparing two scenarios - if Malaysia does not sign the TPPA and if the nation signs the deal and tariffs go down to zero over 10 years.
However, PWC found that if non-tariff measures like subsidies and quotas are removed as a result of the TPPA, GDP can grow up to 1.15 percent and exports by up to 0.9 percent.
Even then, this comes at a heavier trade-off, Wong said.
This is because the modelling finds that the same scenario will bring 30 percent dip in balance of trade.
Balance of trade refers to the difference in the value of imports and exports.
A drop in balance of trade means Malaysia will be importing goods that are of higher value than what it is exporting.
There is stiff resistance to TPPA by some opposition parties and civil society.
Critics fear damaging industry-state dispute settlements, limitations of the state's ability to introduce potentially anti-industry policy and higher cost of medicine.
The government, however, insists it will not sign the agreement if it means pricier medicine.
The agreement will be tabled in Parliament on Jan 26, after workshops with MPs and town hall meetings nationwide.