Asian Lawyer Quotes Stephen Kho, Tatman Savio on TPP Prospects

For its article “TPP's Uncertain Prospects Weigh on Asia-Based Lawyers,” The Asian Lawyer quoted Akin Gump international trade partners Stephen Kho (in Washington, D.C.) and Tatman Savio (in Hong Kong) regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and its increasingly shaky prospects, given that both GOP and Democratic presidential candidates have declared opposition to it.

The article notes that, were the United States not to ratify the TPP, it would render the trade deal a failure.

Savio said that a failed TPP would be a lost opportunity for Vietnam and Malaysia, given that neither country has a bilateral trade agreement with the United States, but that the impact on countries that do have such a pact, such as Australia and Singapore, would be less. She added, “China's regional strength may be emboldened, if the TPP is not ratified. At a minimum, China may capture opportunities and relationships that the U.S. might have otherwise leveraged to the extent that TPP had entered into force.”

Kho, however, said that the TPP will be “too big to fail,” in that, if not passed, it will still form the foundation for a broader future Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, which, he believes, would benefit the region immensely. He added, “The Asia region will continue to be a dynamic area for future global trade, and the setback of TPP nonimplementation will not change this.”