USTR - Statement by Stephen Norton on U.S.-Malaysia FTA Negotiations
Office of the United States Trade Representative


Statement by Stephen Norton on U.S.-Malaysia FTA Negotiations


A year ago, the United States and Malaysia launched FTA negotiations with a common commitment to conclude a comprehensive, high-quality FTA.  Significant progress has been made toward conclusion of such an agreement, but a number of important issues remain outstanding.   

After the last round, Malaysian officials informed us that they needed time to seek a political consensus within their Cabinet on how to proceed on these issues.  Resolution of that process is a necessary step before the negotiations can continue.  We made clear to the Malaysian Government the requirements of our Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and that, at this point, submission of a U.S.-Malaysia FTA under the current TPA statute is not possible. 

As we have stated repeatedly, however, substance, not timing, is the determinative factor that will guide our participation in these negotiations.  Our belief that reaching a high-quality, comprehensive FTA would benefit both economies is undiminished.

The United States and Malaysia have agreed to continue working toward our shared goal and a Malaysian team will come to the United States in mid-April for consultations.  We look forward to concluding a high-quality, comprehensive FTA, and obtaining legislative approval of such an agreement.



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