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U.S. Effort to Open Markets May ’Come to Grief,’ Warns Singapore’s Lee

Posted October 26, 2017

(Matthew Pennington – Associated Press)

Singapore’s prime minister has raised doubts over the Trump administration’s trade policy, saying a hasty push to get countries to open their markets may "come to grief."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the U.S. withdrawal from a trans-Pacific trade agreement had hurt U.S. credibility in negotiations and many countries will be reluctant to enter one-on-one trade deals with Washington.

Lee was speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations. He met Monday with President Donald Trump who hailed Singapore’s commitment to “fair and reciprocal” trade. It was Trump’s final meeting with an Asian leader before he begins a five-nation, 12-day trip to the region, starting Nov. 3.

The rich Southeast Asian city state, which has strong ties with the United States, is one of the few Asian countries with which the U.S. enjoys a trade surplus. Click here to read more.

Related: PM Lee Urges U.S. to Uphold Free Trade and Sustain Economic Ties with Asia (Today)