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TPP’s death is a triple blow to the government

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By: Tan Jee Say

1. TPP is dead, but a bitter after-taste lingers on.

2. This is a triple blow to PM Lee.

3. Firstly, he tried to call Trump’s “bluff” as he knew full well that Trump has said he would withdraw from TPP if elected president. But Trump has the last laugh.

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4. Secondly, he lobbied hard for Obama to ratify the TPP before the new president comes in on 20 January 2017. But Obama has suspended efforts for a vote deal in Congress for TPP after Trump’s election. Now the fate of TPP lies in President Trump’s hands which will tear it up.

5. Thirdly, PM Lee ignored China’s protestation that TPP is an attempt to contain China under the guise of free trade. This has angered China particularly with his pro-US and anti-China strident remarks following The Hague tribunal’s ruling on the South China Sea.

6. PM Lee is putting Singapore’s economic and security well-being at risk of China’s possible retaliation not excluding the risk of China’s missiles targeted at Singapore who hosts a US naval base.

7. I urge PM Lee to exercise caution and restraint.

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