KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Jan 2009: The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between Malaysia and the US have been postponed because of a request from Washington, DC, International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
“This is not the ministry’s decision. Fact is the talks have been temporarily stopped on the request made by the US. We should have had a meeting before the end of 2008, but they requested for the postponement,” he said.
This was probably because of the transition of power from President George W. Bush to newly-elected president Barack Obama, Muhyiddin said when asked about the FTA’s status.
Apart from that, the ministry was also closely studying the matter. Malaysia is not rushing into the FTA as there are many issues to consider under the various sectors under negotiation, he added.
On the boycott of US products in Malaysia, Muhyiddin said: “If there are Malaysians who want to take such an action, it is their right. As for the government, we have not taken any decision on the matter.” — Bernama