US pull-out from Pacific trade deal hurts confidence, Singapore PM tells BBC

By REUTERS
March 1, 2017 08:20
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The United States' pull-out from the Trans Pacific Partnership hurt confidence in American policies, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, urging Washington to "focus" on its relationship with China.

In an interview with the BBC broadcast on Wednesday, Lee said Singapore was disappointed with President Donald Trump's decision to fulfill a campaign pledge and withdraw the United States from the long-negotiated 12-country trade deal.

Singapore placed great strategic importance on the TPP as the wealthy city-state views US involvement in the region as key to its economic growth and security. The deal was a pillar of former President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia.

"I think this has put a dent in the degree to which people can be confident of America's policies," Lee said. "But it has happened and we have to live with it."

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