TPPA will help strenghten environmental standards, says MITI

TPPA will help strenghten environmental standards, says MITI
The objectives of the Environment Chapter in TPPA were to ensure trade and environment policies were mutually supportive.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will help strengthen environmental standards, said Ministry of International Trade and Industry's (MITI) Deputy Secretary-General (Strategy and Monitoring), Datuk J. Jayasiri.

In a statement on Monday, Jayasiri said the objectives of the Environment Chapter in TPPA were to ensure trade and environment policies were mutually supportive and encourage high levels of environmental protection.

They also aimed to ensure effective enforcement of all environmental laws and trade activities did not jeopardise environmental protection, he said.
"The government retains the right to impose measures to protect the environment, including new measures that will enhance environmental protection, as long as these measures are non-discriminatory and apply to both foreign and domestic products," he said.

Jayasiri said this in response to an article, 'Environment issues and the TPPA' by the Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER) that was published in The Sun on Dec 28, 2015.

In the article, AWER has raised its concerns on several environmental issues among them, 'Will the upgrading of existing environmental laws be considered as a trade barrier if it prohibits a particular product from being sold in Malaysia?' 

"The TPPA encourages higher environmental standards and the upgrading of our existing environmental laws will be consistent with the agreement. Meanwhile, he said, greenwashing referred to the practice of making an unsubtantiated or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice.

"If any goods or services are not deemed as environmentally-friendly as claimed to be, Malaysia has our domestic laws and regulations to deal with the inflow of such goods and services," he said.

Jayasiri said in addition to Malaysia's participation in the TPPA, other measures must also be undertaken to improve the capacity and capabilities of local companies in this sector.

"Local entrepreneurs could utilise the TPPA as a platform to enhance their products and services via technology collaborations and capacity building in order to expand their businesses into other TPPA countries," he said.

"Issues surrounding the ability of our local companies to compete with foreign players are addressed under various chapters of TPPA such as small- and medium-sized enterprises and competitiveness and business facilitation," he said.