TPP failure will mean lost opportunity and access to major markets: Moody’s

Export-Import

Jan 25, 2017 (LBO) – The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal implies that the agreement will not be implemented, which would slow impetus for further structural change in member countries that would boost competitiveness and investment, the Moody’s Investors Service said.

“The failure to implement the deal represents a lost opportunity for exporters aiming to gain greater access to major markets,” Marie Diron, associate managing director of Moody’s said.

“We had anticipated TPP to reduce the cost of trade and open up new investment opportunities for its 12 members, and in particular, its Asian members.”

Among the 12 member countries, the economies of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Mexico are reliant on exports and show the greatest exposure to trade with TPP countries.

With this lost opportunity, prospects for significant large gains in incomes, for instance in Vietnam or Malaysia over the medium term — on the back of higher trade — will be reassessed.

Some countries have begun exploring other trade options, bilaterally or with China through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

However, she says the potential trade deals currently envisaged are unlikely to provide as big an economic benefit as the TPP, where member countries accounted for 40 percent of global GDP.

In recent years, TPP trade negotiations served as a catalyst for reform, such as the reduction of protectionist policies in Japan’s agricultural sector.

The abolishment of the deal could slow impetus for further structural change in member countries that would boost competitiveness and investment and improve institutional quality,  Diron added.

“We do not expect the reform measures that have been implemented in anticipation of TPP to be reversed.”

Singapore will be one of the least affected by the abandonment of the TPP, because it already has trade agreements in place with nine TPP countries.

Similarly, Japan and Australia are only modestly exposed to trade with TPP countries, and their export products maintain strong access to other global markets.