The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP
) may fail to come into force if the U.S. Congress does not ratify it, said Tran Quoc Khanh, deputy minister of industry and trade, at the “Vietnam: Seizing the opportunities of new-generation free trade agreements” in Hanoi
on June 15.
Mr. Khanh explained that the U.S.-brokered deal will take effect within 60 days from the date when all the countries notify New Zealand (the main depository country) of the fulfillment of domestic legal procedures for the approval of TPP.
In case not all countries have completed the domestic legal procedures within two years from the date of signature (February 4, 2016), TPP will be effective within 60 days from the two-year expire date if having at least six countries, accounting for at least 85% of GDP combined in 2013, completed all the legal procedures from the date.
As the U.S. accounts for a large part of the 12-country bloc’s GDP, the agreement will not be enacted if this country fails to approve it, the deputy minister noted.
On updating the approval status of TPP member countries, Mr. Khanh said that Australia has already proposed to the parliament for the approval procedures, but pending for the new government.
Brunei is reviewing legal documents, tentatively proposing to the legislative council in March 2017. Other countries including Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore may have the agreement passed by the end of this year.
The landmark agreement is already proposed to the parliament and is likely to be passed in the fall meetings in 2016. The Obama administration is working on the date to propose it to the Congress.
Malaysia is a special case. Its government has already proposed to the parliament to seek permission for joining TPP, but must work on the domestic laws to be revised prior to the announcement of the approval time.
In case of Vietnam, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and other agencies to finalize the Submission Note for Approval of the TPP agreement for the prime minister to table to the president in accordance with the 2005 Law on International Treaties.
It is expected that the TPP agreement will be submit to the National Assembly, Vietnam's supreme legislative body, for approval in its first sitting next month.
Addressing the event, Victoria Kwakwa, regional vice president for East Asia and Pacific at World Bank
, said that exports have been a major engine of Vietnam’s strong growth record.
Having grown at over 20% per year since 2000, today Vietnam’s manufacturing exports stand at more than $100 billion. And the country’s trade to GDP ratio is close to 180%, one of the highest in the world.