May 19, 2017 / 11:58 AM / 8 months ago

Malaysia says renegotiation of TPP needed if it proceeds without U.S.

HANOI (Reuters) - Some renegotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would be needed if it is to move ahead without the United States, Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed said on Friday.

However, he told Reuters in an interview that a bigger priority for Malaysia at the moment was completing negotiations on the China-backed trade deal for Asia, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“We are open, we remain committed to TPP. I am being realistic - without the U.S., this will change the game altogether... There would have to be some renegotiation,” Mustapa said.

“First priority is RCEP for us,” he said.

He was still optimistic that the United States would eventually rejoin TPP, which was ditched by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Discussions on both the TPP and RCEP deals are taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the sidelines of a meeting of trade ministers from Asia Pacific-Economic Cooperation countries.

Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi and Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Nick Macfie

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