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Taiwan Looks For Early TPP Involvement

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

12 October 2015


Welcoming the successful conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on October 5, Taiwan immediately announced that it will continue to seek membership of the deal.

An Executive Yuan spokesperson pointed out that the Government has been proactively making preparations since 2014 to meet the goal of joining a second round of TPP negotiations. "It has convened nine task force meetings, completed an inventory on the discrepancies between international norms and Taiwan's laws and regulations, and formulated measures for dealing with bilateral issues between Taiwan and TPP member countries," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson emphasized that Taiwan "will be able to demonstrate to TPP members that it is ready to reach the pact's high standards to gain their approval." Taiwan will work to gain their support "through various channels such as bilateral talks and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation."

The Government noted that the TPP members – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam – are all major trading partners of Taiwan. In 2014, Taiwan's exports to TPP members reached USD103bn, approximately one-third of all Taiwanese exports.

As Taiwan "is an island economy that relies highly on export," the spokesperson added, "not only would Taiwan avoid exclusion from Asia-Pacific regional economic integration [by joining the TPP], it could also ensure its businesses have the chance to compete fairly on the international stage."

More than 10 major industry associations have expressed their support for Taiwan's early participation in the TPP. The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei said that, "for Taiwan, TPP is of crucial significance. It is now vital that this country do everything possible to burnish its candidacy for inclusion in the second round when the TPP is ready to expand its membership in another year or more."

"A trading economy such as Taiwan's cannot afford to be left out of such a critical initiative," AmCham Taipei continued. "When the final text of the agreement is released in the coming weeks, work will need to begin in earnest in analyzing the conditions Taiwan will need to fulfill in order to become a TPP signatory."

TAGS: business | law | trade treaty | Taiwan | agreements | standards | regulation | trade | Asia-Pacific

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