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Malaysia-US FTA talks set to resume in mid-April

Business Times, Malaysia

Malaysia-US FTA talks set to resume in mid-April

By Rupa Damodaran

27 March 2007

The Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks are expected to resume in Washington in mid-April.

US Trade Representative spokesman Stephen Norton, in a statement, said a Malaysian team will go to the US in mid-April for consultations.

"We look forward to concluding a high-quality comprehensive FTA, and obtaining legislative approval of such an agreement," he said.

After the fifth round of talks in Karambunai in Sabah in February, the Malaysian negotiating team said it required the consensus of the Cabinet before proceeding on the various issues.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said Malaysia should not let slip the opportunity to forge a bilateral FTA with the US.

"The winds of change for competition, lower price of goods, and increase in US investments in Malaysia augur well for acceleration of Vision 2020," he told Business Times yesterday.