TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan said Thursday (Nov. 25) it was closely monitoring plans by the United States to create a new Indo-Pacific economic and trade framework after the North American country decided not to rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Legislators questioned government officials Thursday about the likely impact of the Biden administration’s decision on Taiwan’s own bid to join the CPTPP, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. The lawmakers also expressed concern about the impact of the country’s Dec. 18 referendum on the import of pork treated with ractopamine, as the government has said a vote in favor of a ban would harm Taiwan’s chances of success.
Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said the U.S. plans for a new framework were in line with the discussions during the Nov. 22 Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue (EPPD) between the two countries.
She described CPTPP membership as the equivalent of signing free trade agreements with each of its 11 members. As to the new U.S. regional bloc, Taiwan would closely monitor developments before deciding whether to join, according to the minister.
Most topics dealt with at the EPPD talks, such as supply chains and regional cooperation, were similar to those reported by the media in connection with the Indo-Pacific organization, Wang said.