WASHINGTON – Staunch ally Singapore says U.S. credibility in Asia is on the line amid uncertainty over its participation in a 12-nation free trade pact.
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Singapore's Foreign Minister K Shanmugam said the United States faces a "stark choice" on whether it wants to have continuing leverage in a region where it has long been the guarantor of peace and prosperity.
Shanmugam was speaking at a Washington think tank on Monday as Congress wrangles over legislation crucial to U.S. involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Legislation to give President Barack Obama authority to negotiate such trade deals was dealt a stunning setback Friday, mainly by members of his own party. Its prospects remain uncertain.
Shanmugam said: "Do you want to be part of the region or you want to be out of the region?"