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Muhyiddin suggests a pre-negotiation discussion to move forward FTA deal with US

Bernama, Malaysia

Muhyiddin Suggests A Pre-negotiation Discussion To Move Forward FTA Deal With US

21 May 2008

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia and US should have a pre-negotiation discussion on some of the contentious issues that have delayed the progress of the Free Trade Agreement with the US, International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Wednesday.

It will be in the interest of both US and Malaysia to hold this pre-negotiation discussion so that Malaysia could explain its stand on certain issues such as the government procurement, he said.

Confirming that the next round of talks would be held in July, he said the US negotiation team have been mandated to discuss issues relating to competition policies, government procurement, labour, environment and financial services, but Malaysia wants to look at them before the next negotiation starts, he said.

Malaysia wants further progress in the FTA talks, but it won’t compromise on a number of issues, he told reporters after witnessing the signing of an agreement between Ingrepro B.V. and Biomac Corporation here Wednesday.

"We will have to see how this matter can be addressed, whether there will be a new mandate," he said.

The last round of the FTA talks between the US and Malaysia was held in January.