US welcomes nation’s interest in joining TPP
Deputy United States Trade Representative Robert Holleyman said Thursday that the U.S. welcomes Taiwan’s efforts and interest in joining the U.S.-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc.
Taiwan has updated the U.S. on reform measures that can be taken in preparation for a bid to join the TPP and other ambitious trade agreements, Holleyman said at a press conference after the latest round of U.S.-Taiwan trade talks under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
Taiwan’s interest in participating in regional trade agreements such as the TPP was one of the topics discussed in the meeting, ac- cording to Holleyman.
“And we welcome and interest,” he said.
However, it would be “premature” to discuss an extension of the TPP, given that the U.S. and 11 trading partners are currently meeting in Atlanta in an effort to finalize the TPP negotiations, Holleyman said.
When the TPP is concluded, all of the contents and details will be made public, which will be useful for Taiwan and other countries to assess their own readiness to participate in the trade agreement, he said.
The TPP was initiated in February 2008 by the United States, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore and has gained interest over the years, with Australia, Peru, and
that update Vietnam joining the negotiations in November 2008, Malaysia, Mexico and Canada in October 2010, and Japan in May 2013.
Over the past two years, Taiwan, Colombia, the Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea have expressed interest in participating in the trade agreement.
The latest round of TIFA talks were scheduled to be held in April but were delayed because the U.S. was focused on finalizing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), among other trade matters.
The TIFA was signed in 1994 as a framework for Taiwan-U.S. dialogue on trade-related issues. The last round of TIFA talks were held in Washington in April 2014.