The new and not improved NAFTA

United States (US) President Donald Trump acts as if he has pulled off a smashing victory by replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – supposedly “the worst trade deal ever” – with the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

12 October 2018

Trump to host Singapore's PM at White House

US President Donald Trump will host Singapore's prime minister in Washington later this month, the White House said Tuesday, with North Korea likely topping the agenda.In a statement announcing Lee Hsien Loong's October 23 White House visit, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the meeting would reaffirming ties with "one of America's closest partners in Asia for more than 50 years."Singapore has long positioned itself as something of a cultural and political t

11 October 2017

Will the US rejoin the TPP?

In the city of Monessen, Pennsylvania, then presumptive US Presidential candidate, Donald Trump took to the stage to address a crowd of supporters.“Today, I am going to talk about how to Make America Wealthy Again,” he began.Trump then continued his barrage of outrage and criticisms towards the elites who have been exporting jobs from the US and stifling the American middle class. His speech culminated to the unveiling of his own plan to bring jobs back to the country.

10 October 2017

An important take on ASEAN centrality

“ASEAN centrality is not a magic incantation whose mere invocation makes all our dreams come true. Nor is it an objective reality that exists irrespective of perceptions – ASEAN centrality is more akin to the sound of Berkeley’s falling tree than Johnson’s immovable rock.”Ambassador-at-Large at the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bilahari Kausikan is no stranger to eloquence when delivering his thoughts to an eager audience.

6 October 2017

Who is actually leading the RCEP?

The RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) rose to prominence soon after US President Donald Trump rescinded his commitment to the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade deal earlier this year.The TPP aimed to establish a regional FTA (Free Trade Agreement) and focussed on liberalising trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, environmental protection, labour, financial services, technical barriers to trade and other regulatory issues.

5 October 2017

Has Hun Sen won the battle and the war?

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s crackdown on his critics have taken a turn for the worse as opposition parliamentarians have fled the country for fear of being incarcerated like their opposition leader, Kem Sokha.Hun Sen’s actions came amidst fears that his 32-year rule in the country might end due to increased support for the opposition.

2 October 2017

ASEAN Roundup: September 25 - October 01, 2017

This week, tensions have been running high particularly in Bali as its iconic volcano – Mount Agung – which threatens to erupt at any moment. Over 144,000 people have fled the rumbling volcano, but Indonesian officials urged evacuees who live outside the immediate danger zone to return home. According to an official statement made by the Bali Government Tourism office, the threat level of Mount Agung was raised from level three (alert) to level four (danger).

1 October 2017

Leaving no trade deal behind

The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) may be dead in the water for the US (United States) after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order in January rescinding his country’s commitments to the trade deal. However, the remaining 11 members are keen on pushing forward with the trade agreement even without the superpower in its fold.“None of the TPP members have declared the agreement to be dead and it is very likely that it will keep going.

29 September 2017

Trump to meet 'favourite' premier

When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak meets former golf partner Donald Trump in the White House on Tuesday, the elephant in the room will be a US criminal probe of an investment fund linked to Najib.While ties between the countries are solid, there are points of strain for the two leaders. One wrinkle is a Department of Justice investigation into alleged money laundering and embezzlement at state-owned 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd).

12 September 2017