TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade group would add 2% to Taiwan’s annual economic growth rate but also pose challenges to farmers and car part manufacturers, officials said Thursday (Sept. 23).
The government announced Wednesday (Sept. 22) that it had filed an application to join the 11-member trade bloc, which includes Japan but not the United States. China applied on Sept. 16, with observers saying its admission before Taiwan in the CPTPP would pose extra problems for the country’s bid.
The benefits of joining outweigh the disadvantages, with membership likely to add 2% to Taiwan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth figure, said National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫).
He added that if countries like the United Kingdom, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines join the trade bloc but Taiwan does not, the latter’s economy would see its GDP growth drop by 0.5% or 0.6%, CNA reported.
While the agriculture and car part sectors are certain to face challenges if Taiwan becomes a member, the government said it would work out special measures and that not all tariff protections need to be removed immediately. Officials cited the example of CPTPP members Japan and Vietnam, who have still left some farm products outside the zero-tariff list.