TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Legislative Yuan on Thursday approved amendments related to agriculture which would help with Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The CPTPP, signed in Chile on March 8, is a trade agreement between 11 countries in the Pacific area, with Taiwan hoping to become a member eventually when a second group of countries is allowed to join.
The amendments approved Thursday related to the guarantee periods for pesticides and an extension of the protection of plant varieties according to international agreements, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported.
Now that the United States had withdrawn from the trade pact, lawmakers worried whether Taiwan would face tougher membership negotiations. However, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) replied that the impact on Taiwanese agriculture would actually diminish now that the U.S. was absent. Chicken meat might be affected as several CPTPP members were producers, but for rice, Taiwan already fell under international quota, so access to CPTPP would not affect the island nation all that much, the COA said.
Lin said that most of the new measures were related to the protection of intellectual property, with the government doing its utmost to protect local agriculture while linking up with international trade.