Na­tion must be de­ter­mined to join TPP: trade of­fi­cial

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Af­ter five years of ne­go­ti­a­tions, 12 coun­tries fi­nally came to an agree­ment on the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) Mon­day, a re­sult the Tai­wan gov­ern­ment said that it will start its bid to join the part­ner­ship, which cov­ers 36 per­cent of the global econ­omy.

Yang Jen-ni ( ), di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the Bureau of For­eign Trade, said on the same day that as soon as the of­fi­cial text of the TPP agree­ment is pub­lished, the rel­e­vant author­i­ties of Tai­wan will set up a team of ex­perts to start prepa­ra­tions for talks with TPP mem­bers on its re­quest to join the trade pact.

Tai­wan will also

or­ga­nize a del­e­ga­tion to visit the United States, the lead­ing mem­ber of the TPP, to ask for opin­ions con­cern­ing key is­sues, Yang said in an in­ter­view with CNA on Tai­wan’s TPP bid.

Un­der the TPP’s con­sen­sus­dom­i­nant mech­a­nism, if any na­tion wishes to join the part­ner­ship, it has to win the unan­i­mous ap­proval of all the 12 found­ing mem­bers. This means Tai­wan must se­cure the con­sent of each of the ex­ist­ing TPP mem­bers in or­der to par­tic­i­pate.

“Tai­wan must be de­ter­mined to join the TPP,” Yang stressed when asked whether Tai­wan was ready for that.

She said there is no knowl­edge of how many le­gal reg­u­la­tions Tai­wan will need to amend to meet the TPP’s re­quire­ment be­cause the for­mal text of the TPP agree­ment has not been re­leased.

How­ever, be­ing an ex­port­de­pen­dent i sland- econ­omy, Tai­wan could face tar­iff dis­crim­i­na­tion and non-tar­iff trade and in­vest­ment ob­struc­tion if it is cast aside from the TPP. Also, not be­ing part of the TPP could harm Tai­wan’s role as a key sup­plier of parts and com­po­nents in the Asia-Pa­cific area, Yang warned.

Ac­cord­ing to Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs data, once formed, the TPP will be a gi­ant eco­nomic bloc with a com­bined gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) of US$28 tril­lion, ac­count­ing for 36 per­cent of global GDP.

In or­der for Tai­wan to join, it has to first deal with thorny is­sues in­clud­ing open­ing doors to the im­port of U.S. pork con­tain­ing rac­topamine, a feed ad­di­tive, and lift­ing tar­iffs and non-tar­iff mea­sures that are be­ing im­ple­mented to pro­tect lo­cal agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

Tai­wan Seek­ing Endorsement

Tai­wan is re­solved to win the endorsement of the mem­ber states of the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) to join the sec­ond round of ne­go­ti­a­tions and gain ac­cess to the free trade pact, a Cab­i­net spokesman said Mon­day.

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