M’sia, US to resolve trade deficit issues

Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

MALAYSIA and the US have agreed to resolve trade imbalance disputes via a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (picture) said TIFA has been identified as a platform to resolve bilateral trade and investment issues between the two countries.

“TIFA is also seen as a strategic approach for Malaysia to ensure the US faces reality on the issue of trade imbalance alleged by the administration of President Donald Trump,” he said in a in a written parliamentary reply yesterday.

Mustapa said allegations made by the US that Malaysia is a “trade cheat” was unfounded, as the claim was only due to discrepancies on “trade calculations”.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak had conveyed this during his recent meeting with Trump,” he said in response to Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen’s question.

Leong asked the government to state its stand on the allegat ion by the US that Malaysia was one of many countries responsible for the US’ trade deficit of nearly US$50 billion (RM209.5 billion).

“Until today, the US administration has yet to issue an official report on the trade deficit with its trading partners, named as the Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficit.

“The report prepared by the commerce department and the US Trade Representative Office has been sent to the White House for Trump’s consideration,” Mustapa said.

Earlier this year, Trump’s administration allegedly stated that Malaysia was among those countries which had high exports into the US while imports had remained minimal, thus causing huge deficits.