Ally Singapore says US credibility in Asia on the line over trade pact

Economic Indicators Associated Press

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.

Continue Reading Below

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?"