Brunei once held off on strict Islamic law to stay in a U.S.-backed trade pact. Then Trump pulled out.

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04/12/2019

When more than 100 members of Congress raised worries in 2014 over plans to include Brunei in a sweeping Pacific trade deal, envoys from the tiny sultanate rushed to Washington with a message: We may be thinking about stricter Islamic laws, but we won’t really enforce them. The damage-control mission by Brunei — an oil- and gas-rich patch of coast and rain forest on the island of Borneo — came after its sultan began the first phase of strict sharia-inspired laws, U.S. officials said. At the time, the Obama administration was deep in negotiations over the Trans- Pacific Partnership, or TPP, with Brunei and others in the historic deal.

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