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US hopeful Taiwan can join CPTPP

State Department lauds Taiwan as responsible WTO member, champion of democracy

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U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following Taiwan’s application to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the U.S. on Friday (Sept. 24) said the East Asian nation’s track record in global trade and democratic values could help it gain membership in the trade bloc.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said during a press briefing that Washington expects that Taiwan’s reputation as a responsible member of the World Trade Organization and its strong embrace of democratic values will factor into the CPTPP’s members’ decision to allow the nation to join. He added the U.S. “will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues consistent with the wishes and the best interest of people on Taiwan.”

He also urged Beijing to end its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead conduct meaningful dialogue.

China applied to the CPTPP on Sept. 16, nearly one week before Taiwan filed its application. There are concerns that Beijing may gain membership before Taipei, which could lead to difficulties for the democratic country’s regional trade aspirations.

Peru, which is seeking to expand ties with China, its largest trading partner and top foreign investor, could halt Taiwan's ascension into the group, as membership requires the approval of all 11 members. Therefore, Australia, Japan, and Canada are said to be working hard behind the scenes to enable Taiwan to join the CPTPP.

National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said on Thursday that membership in the trade partnership will most likely add 2% to Taiwan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth figure.