August 4, 2016 | BY: LESLIE SHEFFER
The battle over whether to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal has shown how toxic the U.S. political environment had become, said Tommy Koh, Singapore’s ambassador-at-large for foreign affairs.
Historically, Republicans had always supported free trade, but now the mood has turned nationalistic, said Koh, who called himself an “accidental diplomat” despite 50 years of working within the Singapore government. The collegiality between the two major parties has also disappeared and the atmosphere is now a “civil war”, said Koh at the DBS Asian Insights conference in Singapore on Thursday.
It’s become party first and nation second, he said.
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