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Taiwan working towards joining CPTPP as soon as possible

Taiwan hopes to join CPTPP soon after it enters into force next year

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John Deng in 2015.

John Deng in 2015. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan's top trade negotiator and Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) said that Taiwan is looking to join the CPTPP as soon as possible after the agreement enters into force, in an interview with Inside U.S. Trade.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade agreement is expected to begin next year, and Taiwan believes it can meet the standards and commitments of the deal.

"We think we are there, we can meet all the standards," said Deng.

"We think we can also achieve that high level of liberalization" he added.

The CPTPP is an 11-country free trade agreement, making up approximately 13.4 percent of global GDP.

Deng said it would be a "burden" for Taiwan if it was not part of the agreement, because it could lead to Taiwanese businesses being excluded for having comparatively higher costs.

On the same day as the agreement was signed in Santiago, Chile on March 9, 2018, Taiwan reaffirmed its desire to join the CPTPP.

Taiwan first indicated its hope to join the free trade agreement after it is entered into force, on February 27, 2018.

In demonstration of Taiwan's willingness to participate, the Legislative Yuan passed CPTPP agriculture measures on March 15, 2018.

The CPTPP is expected to begin next year, with the agreement formally commencing 60 days after six countries sign the agreement into law. Mexico has ratified the agreement, while Canada, Japan and New Zealand are expected to do the same before the end of the year.

During the interview, Deng also said that Taiwan is keen to participate in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, a proposed Asian free trade agreement.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are the current signatories of the CPTPP.