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Taiwan urged to resolve trade issues as path to TPP (update)

Taiwan urged to resolve trade issues as path to TPP (update)

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) The best way for Taiwan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc is to show that it is politically able to resolve some long-standing trade issues, such as pork imports, a visiting U.S. business representative said Thursday. Tami Overby, vice president for Asia of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it is up to each country to decide if it wants to join the TPP. "If the people and the government of Taiwan are ready to join, you must declare your interest," Overby said, in response to reporters' questions on the sidelines of a regional conference held by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei. "But one piece of advice or suggestion I would make is that you show that you are politically able to do hard things by resolving some of the long-standing issues, for example, pork or some of the other areas where there have been challenges between our business communities," she said. The TPP is a comprehensive free trade agreement among Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Brunei. Seven other countries, including the United States, are negotiating to join the trade bloc. Taiwan aims to join the bloc within eight years. Overby said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement last week of Japan's intentions to join the TPP is a great example of the success of regional trade agreements. Calling Japan's participation a "real game changer," Overby said the coverage of the TPP would jump to nearly 40 percent of the global gross domestic product if Japan is included in the pact. She said if the deal had been signed bilaterally between the United States and Japan, domestic pressure might have taken over. "Autos might have been swapped out for rice," she added. She estimated that Japan could join the TPP negotiations in the next few months if it is willing to meet the high standards of the pact. Touting the TPP as a "true 21st century agreement," Overby said the pact demands things ranging from the elimination of tariffs to criminal penalties for the theft of trade secrets. She said, however, that there is still a lot of hard work ahead, especially on some of the issues advocated by the United States, such as environmental provisions, high-standard protection of intellectual property and new disciplines for state-owned enterprises. (By Christie Chen and Jeffrey Wu)


Updated : 2021-05-11 04:08 GMT+08:00