Expert: U.S withdrawal from TPP may not necessary impact APEC

​The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may not necessarily have an impact on the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation, says expert Wendy Cutler.

Cutler is the Vice President of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) based at Washington D.C.

She recently served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, working on a range of U.S trade negotiations and initiatives in the Asia Pacific Region.

ASPI tackles major policy challenges confronting the Asia-Pacific in security, prosperity, sustainability, and the development of common norms and values for the region.

Cutler says U.S withdrawal may not necessarily have an impact on the APEC work itself, but to the extent that it affects the U.S relationship with certain countries that could be felt at APEC meetings.

Speaking to Asia, Pacific and U.S journalists participating in the 2017 Jefferson Fellowships program, Cutler highlighted that it will be interesting to watch the participation of the U.S at the 2017 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Vietnam from May 20-21.

The Jefferson Fellowships is underway in Hawai’I, U.S and focuses on trade, security and strategic relationships in Asia Pacific and the future of the US role following the election of President Donald Trump.

Cutler said it will also be interesting to see whether the U.S will be actively participating in initiatives that have been launched to date.

“How will US react to certain language that will be included in an APEC statement?

“It is important to keep in mind how at the recent G20 Finance Ministers Meeting held in Germany, the language on trade became controversial so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

“APEC is a very useful forum and work will proceed regardless of whether the U.S is withdrawing from TPP or not.

“The work is important and it’s going on its own course and I expect the U.S to be very supportive of a successive Vietnam host of APEC 2017 as well as a successful PNG host in 2018.

PNG is looking forward to hosting the APEC Ministers Meeting with preparing well underway.

Quintina Naime