Malaysia no trade cheat, Mustapa says

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Malaysia aims to douse the allegation of being a trade cheat, says International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said Malaysia is a competitive nation and considers bilateral trade as being important.

“We have not been cheating. We believe we are competitive. 

“Cheating means we sell at below market prices at the counter and under those circumstances there are rules in place,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the official inauguration of Top Glove Global Doctors, here today.

Mustapa cited World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules under which countries can impose penalty dumping duties or safeguards, as these are agreed to by members. A recent news report quoted the United States President, Donald Trump’s administration of allegedly stating that Malaysia was among those countries which cheated on its trade numbers.

However, Mustapa said in the end, what matters most is the total trade between Malaysia and its trading partners. 

“This will definitely come up during the discussion between Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Trump at their meeting next month, and we will clarify the situation. 

“We have a big discrepancy in the trade numbers, as ours states a US$5 billion surplus with the US, while the US has it down to about a US$25 billion,” he added.

He said there is a big difference between US$5 billion and US$25 billion, and Malaysia has to explain why is it so, as the US has also included indirect trade as well. — Bernama

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