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SIIA Chairman comments at APEC on US-Asia relations, Myanmar, China, and the TPP, Bloomberg 15 Nov 09

Updated On: Nov 18, 2009

Bloomberg 15 Nov 2009, Obama Renews Focus on Southeast Asia

Obama expressed interest in joining the four-member Trans- Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, known as the TPP. The current signatories -- Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei and Chile -- have a combined gross domestic product that is almost 30 times smaller than the U.S. economy.

“Trade can be win-win. Obama’s condition to engage with the TPP is to ensure it can create jobs for the U.S.,” said Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. “Even showing his interest has taken considerable political courage.”

 

 

Associated Press 16 Nov 2009, Obama boosts hopes for free trade in Asia-Pacific

Singapore welcomed the U.S. announcement and said the TPP, which went into force in 2006, now has the potential to expand to an eight-member group, with Australia, Peru and Vietnam also expressing interest.

Simon Tay of the Singapore Institute for International Affairs also praised the move.
"Americans have to get beyond this idea that free trade with Asia destroys their jobs. Both sides can benefit," he said.

Newsweek, 9 Nov 2009, Obama Renews Focus on Southeast Asia

"Obama has begun to realize that Asia has come together in a way that had excluded America," says Tay. And that's not good for Asia or for the United States.

 

 

Associated Press, 16 Nov 2009, US, ASEAN fail to call for Suu Kyi's release

"No one should expect America to simple say nice, soothing things to the generals in Myanmar," said Simon Tay of the Singapore Institute for International Affairs think tank. "The signals that the Americans and all of us in Asia expect are for clean, decent elections in Myanmar."

 

On China and the global economy
Business Day 16 Nov 2009, Apec states fall in with China

“Since it is China’s growth that has been contributing to recovery in other economies, it’s not in their interest to risk lowering China’s growth,” said Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. “Obama must manage the relationship with China and avoid tensions given the economic and other realities.”

On Climate Change
Reuters, 11 Nov 2009, Climate takes back seat at APEC, focus on trade

Some analysts also pointed to the growing threat of protectionism and U.S. and French references to slapping so-called "carbon tariffs" on goods from big developing nations.

"Rather than looking for positive ways to win-win, we are turning to win-lose," said Simon Tay, Schwartz Fellow of the U.S.-based Asia Society.

For more perspectives on US-Asia relations, visit www.asiaalone.com 

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