US wel­comes na­tion’s in­ter­est in join­ing TPP

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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